Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 28 November 2014
Bray & Slaughter is a UK based regional contractor with over 100 years of experience in the construction industry and an extensive understanding of the education, healthcare, commercial, heritage, conservation and residential sectors. Following industry and company changes, Bray & Slaughter commissioned design studio Mytton Williams to create a new visual identity that would better reflect their growth and move from ‘local builder’ to ‘regional contractor’. The studio’s treatment, a combination of monolinear illustration, a limited colour palette and bold type, was inspired by craftsmanship and a connection to the local community, and was created to appear contemporary and innovative, handle future expansion and bring Bray & Slaughter’s building projects to life.
The images are very well illustrated. Their monolinear and geometric qualities bring together a variety of building types, reflect both classical and contemporary architectural experience, and the variety of sectors the company services in a cohesive and distinctive manner. They handle both small, traditional, architectural flourish and modern utility, and have the potential to provide an affordable way to accommodate new renovations and structures into the identity in the future.
The consistent line weight and limited colour palette are clearly informed by architectural blueprints yet, by simply thickening these lines up, manages to draw a playful, accessible and less invasive quality from technicality, an approach that feels more considerate of residential areas and when seen everyday as van liveries and as hordings in front of building sites.
The approach is current, and can be seen extensively across popular portfolio sites, but rarely makes it into the commercial world outside of paper and magazine illustration. So while familiar to those who frequent such sites, and where perhaps you might have thought large clients would have favoured a little more convention or the reassurance of a 100 year history, the illustrations satisfy the desire to appear contemporary, and make for a new yet well-founded aesthetic that is also very much in service of distinction.
Like the illustrations the type choice is current and consistent, favouring the monolinear forms of Lineto’s Replica. Its weight and the small diagonal cuts across its junctions and terminals appear robust and industrious, appropriate for the industry, and temper the more playful qualities of the images. Replica will be a choice familiar to designers, used across a variety of projects, but still remains far from saturated.
As someone who has recently come off an project with an SB initial, the monogram’s resolution is one I am sure is frequently discounted early on. It is unlikely to be unique, but remains a simple, clear and effective combination of characters and sits well alongside or isolated from the logotype. Within the context of an identity leading with illustration, it functions well as a small secondary asset.