In our May edition of the Chancellor eNews we took a “sneak peek” at our new look and branding. We are delighted that our new stationery has now been delivered and the new signs have been installed, both inside and outside the building here at The Courtyard.
The roll out coincided with our 15th anniversary. We were hoping that we could have a big party to celebrate our birthday and to launch our new look, but the global pandemic had, of course, put paid to that.
Before we get into the ideas behind the new brand, Grant Farnell, had this to say about where the original brand came from and why he feels it’s the right time to freshen things up.
“Working on the new Chancellor brand took me back all of those years to when John Smallridge and I were setting up the business. At that time we didn’t have a name and John with his yellow propelling pencil in hand had a list of potential names written on his small note pad, I don’t know what it was about propelling pencils, but they will always remind me of John! I recall driving to our accountants in the pouring rain, and crossing them off one at a time, we thought something close to the Fairmount name, which was a company John and I worked for when we met and would be familiar to many clients.
However, our solicitors had warned us away from this, indicating they thought it wasn’t the best idea, suggesting we could end up needing their representation in court. We could put up a good fight, but would probably lose in the end, although they pointed out the fees would come in handy, funny, a solicitor with a sense of humour!!
Other names were crossed off because they already existed, or they just sounded really stupid and we both agreed we didn’t want the firm to include our surnames, although I think John’s ego was fighting him on that one. So eventually out of the random names came Chancellor, surely someone must have already called their firm Chancellor, after all the Chancellor of the Exchequer is the most important manager of money and is responsible for balancing the nation’s books, so surely someone would have already picked the name, but apparently not.
So Chancellor Financial Management Limited it was, we then needed a brand. John and I were not particularly artistic and didn’t really have a clue, so we brought in a design agency that was much more artistic than ourselves, and they put together a few ideas, one of which appealed to them probably more than it did to us initially. They thought our industry was just a maze of paths routes and information, in the same way we were not suited to their role, they could see that people needed help and guidance to get through their own financial maze, to find the right path to come out at the right place.
This would prove to be the inspiration for our original brand and has served us pretty well for the past 15 years. It does feel like it is time for a refresh which is what I see the new brand doing for us, we are looking forward to the next 15 years and beyond, but it is always good to remember where you came from and the people we have met along the way.
Sadly, John is not with us to see the new brand, but I still have a smile when I think of those times racking our brains right back at the start of things, and John with his yellow propelling pencil.”
The initial rebrand concepts included a full brand refresh of Chancellor’s identity with a new logo, colour palette and typography. The project, which lasted over twelve months, included research, ideas generation and the development of creative concepts which resulted in a number of suggested rebrand routes for us to consider. Our Directors were presented with several different options by our consultants, Grammar Studio in Huddersfield with example designs, along with various visuals such as stationery and business cards, signage and seminar material.
Adam Gill the Design Director of Grammar Studio said
“It’s often the case when doing rebrand projects that the client is torn between wanting an evolution of their current branding, and a completely new look and feel. I was happy to show both these options to Chancellor and although I am happy with the work presented for both routes – I am glad that they chose to go in a new direction for their brand.
Chancellor are a company operating at the highest level and our approach at Grammar Studio was to reflect a ‘market leader mentality’ in the output.
To achieve our aim of a fresh look and feel without losing what Chancellor have at their core – their knowledge and service – we incorporated some of the common styles and elements of their industry, such as muted colours, crests and minimal layouts (a look that traditionally says ‘quality’), but paired this with colours and typography now associated with contemporary digital design, like banking apps and consumer-facing money brands.”
The old saying goes that a “picture paints a thousand words”, so enough of all the background let us look at the new stuff!
The external signage was designed to be eye-catching to any of the many visitors to The Courtyard — not just Chancellor’s clients! We have always felt that our stationery has been a “cut above” the rest, with both sides of our letterhead printed, so we wanted to continue this tradition going forward, and our new business cards look stunning with Spot UV, making “Chancellor” on the rear of the cards really jump out!
We have also updated our client portal to reflect the new branding, and we are well underway with the development of a new website which will reflect the new brand, with updated imagery and colours to hopefully provide a much better experience.
We hope that you like our new look and, as ever, would welcome any feedback.
Here is to the next 15 years!