Curious? “It sums up the common denominator between all the staff,” says managing director Phil Baker. “We are all very different, but we are all interesting and curious.
“If you like, it’s the bit where all our Venn diagrams overlap,” he adds. A mathematical description of a very unquantifiable resource.
But Baker Jazdzewski’s staff always prided themselves on looking at things from new perspectives. Curious merely turns the adjective into a proper noun and places it above the door.
The change of name was prompted from three directions, say Baker and new client services director Graham Hales. First, Andre Jazdzewski’s departure from the consultancy in March. Second, the subsequent arrival of Hales and new creative director Nigel Billson over the summer. Finally, Baker Jazdzewski had evolved from its launch five years ago. Baker and the rest of the staff, including senior designer Katie Bergin, wanted to reflect this development.
The option of becoming Baker Jazdzewski Hales Bergin Billson was dismissed. “It came down to what we would like people to think about us,” says Baker. “Curious as a name is designed to make people question it. We are a strange company. Most design groups don’t set up hairdressers or drag cabaret bars like we have done. Most consultancies’ names are now anachronistic, like Coley Porter Bell, with only Porter still there. We need to represent a philosophy rather than a person or persons.”
Baker Jazdzewski staff held a brainstorming session (deliberately when Baker was away!) and came up with lots of possible names. “If you know how difficult it is for two parents to name a child, try doing it with 12 people,” says Hales. “Our intention is to make a branded design consultancy, to say what we stand for.”
Once Curious was settled on, in came Nigel Billson to work on the visual identity. Four different routes were initially developed. Each involved a varying degree of curiosity in terms of design and type. One gave just enough elements of each of the letters in the name to make it legible. A version of this was used in a rubber stamp effect over the existing Baker Jazdzewski letterhead for invitations to the relaunch party last month at the aforementioned drag club.
“People could get it,” says Billson. “But we weren’t totally convinced. We decided that the curiousness should not be in the logo – it is in us and in our philosophy and how we work. So we went for a calm piece of typography.”
Billson hand-drew the type, and a landscape letterhead adds the twist. A pre-printed envelope will also, hope Curious, stand out from the plainly packaged crowd.