Design Distillery builds stately homes branding

Two of Britain’s grandest homes are getting a corporate makeover, created by Design Distillery, to reflect their expanding range of visitor attractions and business interests.

Gascoyne Cecil Estates has asked the consultancy to create an overarching identity for its famous piles, Hatfield in Hertfordshire and Cranborne in Dorset.

A design audit is now complete, says Design Distillery managing director Leslie Millard, however, a decision has yet to be made whether to have a single identity for both estates or two closely-linked solutions.

‘Both houses have been using their own home-grown devices, which are not necessarily promoting Gascoyne Cecil Estates’ full potential,’ adds Millard. ‘One of the greatest challenges for an estate like this, where management style often develops ad hoc, is persuading people that an image change is in the interest of everyone.’

A phased roll-out of the new identity will start with signage, stationery and vehicle livery, before widening to brochures and advertising.

The ‘five-figure’ contract, awarded in July following a three-way credentials pitch, is scheduled to complete in 2004.

Design Distillery’s appointment builds on its recent revamp of Chatsworth’s corporate image (pictured), which was launched to estate managers at the end of July and rolls out in time for the 2003 Easter holiday season.

The brief was to harness Chatsworth’s extensive agricultural, forestry, mineral and business interests into a single ‘strong’ brand, explains Chatsworth agent Roger Wardle.

‘The new look refreshes a corporate identity that was introduced 20 years ago. Since then we’ve diversified into tourism and retailing, including a shop in Belgravia, so there was a need to reflect these new interests,’ adds Wardle.

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