Photo credit: Angela Tellier

From subdued to vibrant, from sturdy professionalism to a unique persona: we talk to David about how he’s freshening up the Ngrane branding.

As they say, old ways don’t open new doors and Ngrane has never been the type of digital agency to get stuck behind a closed door. After a long process of evolving and adapting to the changes of the industry, it was time to freshen up the branding. As a co-founder of the agency and all-round creative force, David van Delden was more than ready for the task. In the midst of this rebranding process, we talked to him about the path they are taking and why, as he told us, “There were so many changes happening within Ngrane and in the industry, it was time to go back to the drawing board and reveal our new identity to the outside world.”

 

How it Began

When Stephen and David started Ngrane, things were a little different. The tech industry, their playing field, was more white collar than white sneakers. David tells us “10 years ago I started to brainstorm with Stephen about building our own digital agency, we looked up to the big tech players of that time. They looked serious, they looked sleek and they’re branding reflected their monotone suits. Our logo was a direct reflection of the inner and outer workings of the industry: sturdy, professional and efficient.”

“The seeds for a modern and creative work mentality were already planted, but the branding was not yet in full bloom.”

 

Disruption in the tech industry

The tech industry had been shaken up by brands like Google and Facebook, but it was only at the second generation of start-ups like Uber and WeWork that Ngrane started to really turn things around. “The seeds for a modern and creative work mentality were already planted, but the branding was not yet in full bloom,” says David. The whole culture shifted towards a ‘love what you do’ mentality with the perks of freedom and flexibility as its main driving force. That mentality was embedded into every aspect of the tech culture, “What was once all about being professional now became all about personality; app instructions sound like friends, service is more personal than in stores and Chatbots are more alive than ever.”

 

From corporate to co-working

Ngrane, along with the industry, went from corporate to co-working. David tells us that “The personality, the service, the deep rooted connection were already there but now we’re finding ways to bring more light to our strong features. The rebranding needed to reflect that sense of community and passion.”

Photo credit: Angela Tellier

“The rebranding needed to reflect that sense of community and passion.”

The Rebranding

No detail is left behind in this process, from typography to accent colours; everything needed a little freshening up. Together with Ngrane’s in-house Graphic Designer Jeffrey Goodett, David has been working on updating the Brand Identity. Giving it a new spin that is friendlier, more inclusive and crisp, without losing the slick sturdiness of the branding that came before it.

For starters the colours have become more lively, giving off a friendlier and less masculine appeal. Along with liveliness comes a diverse palette, which reflects back into the diversity of the people behind Ngrane. “Our colours used to be very minimal, we changed this around completely. To stand out from the tech crowd and add a little feminine friendliness we opted for a pinkish red as our main colour. This welcoming and warm red is combined with a bolder and brighter blue, for a unique result. This same signature red gives our logo a whole new dimension and energy, which is why we chose to keep the shape the same.”

Along with new colours the two branding pro’s chose to opt for more illustrations rather than photography. “A photo leaves no room for imagination, an illustration can reach more people by being open to interpretation. We are a diverse and imaginative agency and that is key in our new communication,” he says.

The evolution of Ngrane’s logo. Drag left/right and see for yourself.

“We are a diverse and imaginative agency and that is key to our new communication.”

Rebranding is a natural part of any business but it’s not always the easiest. It takes time, a lot of thought and nitpicking, like choosing between two almost identical colours. Rebranding is more than just choosing colours though, every aspect and every detail is equally important. “We’re breathing new life into every aspect of our agency, from a more energised tone of voice to a kick-ass website and stronger social media presence. It’s not one or the other its a process that evolves as a whole,” says David. As we watch this whole coming together we’re excited to see the result of a revamped Ngrane identity. Until then, no rest for the ‘rebranders’.