Ware Anthony Rust does footwork of rebranding

British shoe manufacturer Van Dal unveils a revamped identity created by Ware Anthony Rust this autumn, as part of the company’s drive to attract a younger, more fashion-conscious customer.

WAR has redesigned Van Dal’s identity and created shoe boxes, promotional literature, a website and press advertising, all of which are launched with its autumn/winter collection later this year.

Van Dal has spent seven years trying to realign its brand from comfortable footwear aimed at elderly women to more stylish shoes for women aged between 40 and 50, says Van Dal marketing assistant Tessa Tuddenham.

A Van Dal sub-brand, Brooke, is now a standalone brand aimed at the ‘greying market’, allowing Van Dal to ‘get younger’, according to Tuddenham.

This is the most radical change to date in the seven-year brand repositioning programme, says WAR board account director Alison Meadows.

‘It was always understood that Van Dal wanted to reposition and push its boundaries,’ says Meadows. ‘It was time to move forward the logo itself.’ The shoes have also been gradually redesigned in line with the branding.

The marque has been developed by independent type specialist, and founder of Fontsmith, Jason Smith. He was briefed to modernise the marque but retain its original feel, explains WAR creative director Richard Bland, who led the project with senior designer Paul Flower.

‘The client’s main fear was that the identity would disenfranchise existing customers,’ Bland says. ‘We have retained many of its characteristics, such as softness, femininity and italicised slope, but made it cleaner,’ he adds.

The consultancy has worked with Van Dal since 1996, but the bulk of WAR’s work in the past has been seasonal promotional campaigns for the company.

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