Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 11 November 2014
Devall & Son is a funeral directors, monumental mason and family business with a history that dates back 28 years. To coincide with a transition from one generation to the next D.B.Devall & Son commissioned Bournemouth-based design studio Parent to help them rebrand their business. This included new stationery, brochures, website and signage bound by a simplified name, a logotype built from a bespoke inline sans-serif, and in print by coloured paper and board, a copper foil print finish, edge painted detail and abstract images by photographer Steven Friedman.
The custom logotype, uncoated imperial blue board and the traditional associations of copper foil, copper staples and gilded edge detail avoids generic sentimentality or the overtly sombre in favour of a high quality and crafted finish. This is emphasised, through contrast, by the distorted abstract photography of Steven Friedman. Described as an idyllic mood-setter and chosen to hint at a spiritual connection without specifying a particular faith, these effectively uses colour and texture to introduce distinction and set tone alongside the more communicatively straightforward heritage cues.
Although the secondary sans-serif of what looks like Avenir feels a touch clinical, the script loose yet sufficiently personal, and the dove perhaps a little on-the-nose, there is a good eye for both restraint and detail in the right places, an effective balance of distant professionalism and personal warmth, and appropriately conveys a sense of history and experience.