Graphic Designer Zoë Welch on how to increase engagement through brand identity

Zoë Welch Headshot

Contact Zoë Welch, Middleweight Graphic Designer
zoe.welch@benoy.com

Zoë Welch, Middleweight Graphic Designer in our Branded Environments team, discusses her role at Benoy, her passion for visual identity and branding projects and her latest brand identity project.

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Benoy Branded Environments Branded Identity Project Website Wellbeing Poster Mockup 01

Tell us a bit about your role and working at Branded Environments?

I’ve worked in the Branded Environments team for two years and had the opportunity to work on a range of projects, from branding and layouts to placemaking and wayfinding. I enjoy working on all stages of a project from concept to delivery, but find myself particularly drawn to concept design as you can be so free. It is so rewarding to see the journey of a project and how it goes from a small idea to something physical within the built environment, that makes a difference to people.

As a team we often collaborate with other team’s in Benoy on multidisciplinary projects, specifically the Interior team and I really like working and learning from different disciplines within the business.

Recently, I have been working on more visual identity and branding projects which is where I feel my passion really lies, and what I would really like to focus on in the future.

Benoy Branded Environments Branded Identity Project Website Process

What do you love most about what you do?

I would have to say working with colour, pattern, and typography to elevate spaces within the built environment. I like to integrate briefs and to design things for a purpose, whether that be through textures, tones of colour or shapes, helping to bring spaces and brands to life in new ways and enhancing the user experience. I strongly believe that every design should have integrity and a reason behind its creation.

Use of shapes: Wellbeing brand identity project

Who or what inspires your work?

I get a lot of inspiration from the people and environment around me. I love to be outside enjoying nature, and am a keen gardener, growing lots of flowers, fruit, and vegetables. I am also a very tactile person and enjoy the textures and surfaces around me. I went on a city break last year to Amsterdam and went on the most beautiful bike ride just outside the city. I was struck at the contrast of how close such lush landscapes were to a buzzing city and I try and bring these experiences into my work.

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What is your approach when it comes to visual identity/​branding projects?

The initial research stage is vital, so I spend a lot of time on benchmarking, sketches and going on site visits. Site visits help to understand and break down the brief; What is the problem; What surrounds the space; How different contexts and elements affect specific things. Often, there are more elements that the client hasn’t seen, so this helps uncover the finer detail. 

Sometimes more is more at concept stage. I always question and examine the brief carefully to ensure I’m able to present a range of ideas, perhaps some that even challenge the brief at times. 

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What has been your favourite project and why?

One of my favourite projects has been designing an identity for our Wellbeing campaign at Benoy. This project really resonated with me, as I am passionate about raising awareness of the importance of our mental health and advocating the support that we have available.

The brief was to refresh the branding for the Wellbeing offering for all staff across Benoy globally, which needed a logo, icons, thumbnails, calendar, and email template designed. From the start I knew the branding needed to be welcoming and warm so that people would feel the site was approachable when looking for help and resources. 

We considered revising the name Wellbeing’, changing it to something that felt less corporate and more inclusive and supportive, but new. However, after lots of research and conversations within the studio, we realised nothing else could encapsulate the breadth of what our mental wellbeing is. Instead, I used the branding to lift and excite the name. 

I worked on creating several different concept routes that were fun but accessible, landing on a hand drawn and doodle route. This was developed to also include fun, bold shapes with a bright and friendly colour palette. These shapes were then designed to interact with words, replacing specific letters, with the hand drawn elements being used to highlight key words.

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What trends are you noticing in design right now?

Trends are interesting, I don’t really buy into them very much. However, Monotype recently did a type trend talk, and they categorised the trends and it was useful to see all the different styles collectively. A lot of type has become more expressive since Covid, the days when everyone was inside, and life was pretty difficult. Design has evolved from the monotony, becoming bolder, more animated, and more dynamic. I found that insight quite fascinating. Often when we work with type in wayfinding, we are restricted with how energetic it can be, as we are primarily designing for legibility and accessibility. However, as the Wellbeing project was an identity piece I could really push things.

Benoy Branded Environments Branded Identity Project Website Process
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Benoy Branded Environments Branded Identity Project Website Wellbeing Website 01 19
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