Rex Partners with Bouffant to Create New Identity

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Rex, a young Joburg-based company of designers that made its mark working with Coca-Cola on projects including M5 and Coca-Cola Remix, has turned its talented eye to the production industry with its latest corporate identity design for boutique production shop Bouffant.

Bouffant, which opened its doors for business in September this year, is a reincarnation of Freshwater Films following the departure of executive producer Glen Bosman. New leadership in the form of industry stalwarts Lorraine Smit and Melina McDonald brought with it new energy – which resulted in the decision to rename and rebirth the company.

“Corporate identity is much more than a picture on a letterhead,” says Rex co-founder Rudo Botha. “It is a visual representation of what the company stands for, and a promise of fulfillment. It sets out an aim for internal stakeholders, and a deliverable for external audiences.”

It is because of this firmly-held belief that Rex strives to understand not only clients and their ethos, but also the industry sector in which they operate, before putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard). This entails working very closely with clients, to get under their skin and uncover the one ‘peculiar’ truth that defines their business.

“Every business has a unique soul. It’s our job to find that soul, and to give it shape in the form of a CI,” says Botha’s partner Olivier Schildt.

In the case of Bouffant, that soul has its origins in the name itself, which means ‘puffed out’. For Rex, this literal translation neatly captured an essence of the company.

“Bouffant is bold. It is proud. It is expressive and creative. It is funky. It has style. Importantly, it is what it is, and it is confident in what it does,” explains Botha.

Working closely with Bouffant, Rex transformed these descriptions of Bouffant into a CI that perfectly captures a creative business with a keen sense of who it is and what it stands for.

“To capture a sense of integrity and authenticity, we used an old style font for the logo; but ‘punked’ it up just enough to demonstrate the energy and confidence that is so much a part of this company. We also used hand-drawn line illustration to show the attention to detail, but complemented this with colour that falls outside the lines, to highlight the very raw creativity and talent that is Bouffant,” Botha explains.

The visual language is organic and liberated – and very different from anything else in the sector.

“Bouffant is operating in a highly creative field, and because of this, it’s imperative that the CI project the right kind of energy. It takes balls to be different from everyone else, and to be completely comfortable with your unique style. We believe that this CI projects that confidence, and that energy will attract the right clients.”

Smit and McDonald conclude that, for them, working with Rex was a very rewarding process: “Rex really helped bring our vision to fruition. Yes, the team has very strong design skills, but they also bring an intellectual approach to the process, which helped us extract a story and promise that defines our company, and our brand.”

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