Standing out in a competitive market

Carolon Capital - logo, branding and website

By Rachel 9th June 2014

If you want your business to make the right impression, you have to present it properly. The multi-national companies that I’ve worked with know this – Apple, Chevrolet and Volvo for example all have an established, recognisable brand. But what happens when you’re starting from scratch? How do you create a strong brand that reflects your energy, experience and expertise and – most importantly – creates a lasting impression?

Tim Smith and Roger Brookes have long and outstanding careers in global financial services. They were in the throes of developing a new business aimed at the US and UK financial markets, when they contacted us at RLB Design. They wanted to create an identity to reflect their depth of knowledge and instill a complete confidence in potential clients. It had to speak to their audience but also be something that they both felt comfortable with.

Take a look at logos for financial institutions and in the main you see a colour pallete of racing/bottle greens, bright blues, dark blues and occasionally a ‘daring’ red. Fonts are usually classical serifs which are often heavy, and any modern fonts used are again heavy, condensed slab serifs. Icons help to differentiate but are not always imaginative; from flags flying, globes, rising arrows, bulls, dragons to flying horses. These elements combine to give a message of being trustworthy, dependable and dynamic. Some, I feel, work well looking clean cut and smart, others are predictable, looking heavy and cumbersome. And most look very similar to each other. This can happen when an industry or type of business is trying to get across similar values. Our challenge was to create a logo and brand that set Carolon apart from the competition but not so far apart that it would alienate or confuse.

The name Carolon Capital was created by Tim and Roger by combining the places that they come from, North Carolina and London respectively. We explored all kinds of creative routes using this combination of words, with colourways and ideas for an icon coming from these geographical places. This was a great starting point for us, and it really helped Tim and Roger connect with the creative process.

We presented them with a selection of concepts, exploring fonts, colours and careful spacing between the letters and words, going along the spectrum from modern to classical. And we created striking icons to make sense of the name. Tim and Roger chose the logo using a light, sharp classical font and a traditional dark blue. Being very involved in the creative process, they felt confident to go with a contrast of a bright olive green, which gives the logo its vibrancy. The icon consists of 2 ‘C’s, almost full circles, overlapping each other which is very simple yet abstract. We also created a palette of additional complimentary colours to make it easy to place the logo in different situations as we work on new material. The look and feel that we’ve created fits well within the market: it looks sharp, business-like and clean. The colours are solid and confident, combined they break out of the normal mould.

Working with Tim and Roger and pushing the identity slightly, we believe Carolon Capital stands out from the crowd. Their new look can now be found on their stationery, branded email launch announcements and website.

We’ve received great feedback from Tim and Roger as they officially announced the formation of Carolon Capital on the 7 April 2014*. We’re very pleased to have established an identity and brand for them launching this new and exciting venture. We look forward to working with them in the future as they develop their presentations and regular communications to clients.

*On the 7 April 2014, Tim Smith and Roger Brookes announce the formation of Carolon Capital Ltd which is headquartered in Jersey, the Channel Islands. Carolon is a distribution and placement firm with a specialty in Listed Private Equity.

See more about our work with Carolon Capital.