Tag Archives: Design

How does a brand begin? – The story of the Fresnel Theater

A brand design is much more than just a logo. It’s all the considerations of what the product or service is – what it stands for. A good brand should tell you what you need to know at a glance. A good brand tells a story.

Matt and Krista were looking for a designer for their new community theater space, the Fresnel Theater in Portland, Maine. I met Matt through Comedysportz, a comedy improv show.

He’s a really enthusiastic and smart guy and it came as no surprise on our initial chat that he already had a mission statement, which is a great starting point for a designer.

It answered the questions that I’d initially ask – designer to client. What are the goals of the business, what makes your company different? Descriptive words. So that I can read and listen to the language they use and tune into their frequency and start creating visuals

Branding Design Manchester

So in designing the logo it was important to look for something was welcoming and incorporated The keywords of playfulness community and compassion. Which also why we went for opting for purple and orange using a colour psychology guide.

From a practical point of view It needed to be a bright and chunky, so that when transferred into signage on the building, it’s seen clearly from a distance.

Matt was keen for the logo to reflect the lighthouses that portland is known for. The name fresnal comes from bevels in the lens of a light house main lamp that helps focus the beam. As a designer I love that kind of creative thinking.

Once the colours and typeface were finalised I created and branding guide. This is a reference document for printers. Most large commercial brands have very detailed branding guides, but really every business should have something like this. It’s helpful to printers and is a reliable way to future proof the consistency of your brand over time.

Here’s the final logo that Matt and Krista approved.

Branding Design Manchester

Adam St John Lawrence | Improvisation for Innovation

Adam is a customer experience consultant with a background in stand up comedy and psychology.

“We are going to break your ideas”. Adam uses improv theatre techniques to drive design and innovation and is the co-initiator of the world’s largest service innovation event, the 48 hour Global Service Jam.

In this interview we discuss how Adam brings his skills in theatre, marketing and design together with improvisation. Using the ‘yes and’ in service design,  showing client’s how to embrace uncertainty, understand the world they sell to and deliver a better product and service. We touch on the subjects of conformation bias,  big ideas versus cheap experiments and allowing flexibility within structure.


Bullet Points

  • The handicraft of emotion
  • Treating design prototypes as offers
  • The iterative stages of innovation & customer centric innovation
  • Removing risk in product design
  • Using improv to generate ideas, break them and get better questions
  • “We’ve got this idea, how do we sell it?” – understand the world you’re selling to.
  • Confirmation bias. Defending our own ideas and getting precious about them…
  • ideas generated by a group are my readily accepted.
  • Get up and try stuff, get your hands dirty and enjoy the uncertainty
  • Micheal Schrage, The Innovators Hypothesis – “You don’t need big ideas, you need cheap experiments”
  • Service design & design thinking – moving away from a linear approach
  • How do you lead a non-linear, improvised approach to design?
  • A brief word on agile design & scrum
  • What works for you might not work for me; Allowing the flexibility for a great performance.
  • Tom Peters – If it’s rock and roll you can smell it.
  • Global service Jam

www.workplayexperience.com | Adam on Twitter

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