Audience applauds Metro ‘fresh start’ for identity

Bath-based Metro Design has rebranded international seating manufacturer Audience Systems, as part of the company’s drive to improve profitability and market share.

The design work ranges from an identity and stationery to signage and the livery of the company’s fleet of vans. Owned by Japanese seating group Kotobuki, Audience Systems has its UK factory and head office in Westbury in Wiltshire. Clients include schools, colleges, theatres and others requiring tiered seating for venues and auditoriums.

A new management team, led by managing director John Jenkins, is driving the business towards profitability following several years of poor trading, according to marketing manager Nina Simpson.

‘We want to change the way customers look at us, the way the parent company looks at us and the way we look at ourselves. It’s a fresh start,’ says Simpson.

The brief was originally to tweak the existing logo, but it developed into a full rebrand after Metro Design presented ideas for a new identity. The company’s strategy now is to focus on individual customer relationships, rather than simply maintaining ‘we make the best seating’, says Simpson.

‘The old logo was bright blue and bright red and extremely aggressive, with geometric lines,’ she adds. ‘It was harsh and industrial and we wanted a humanscale look that wasn’t so dated.’

With its dot pattern and a single, highlighted dot, the identity aims to convey both the individual product units and the individualised approach to customers, says Metro Design creative director Alex Whitfield, who worked on the project with designer Julie Eyres.

Metro Design won the job in August following an informal selection process involving two other consultancies.

The identity is officially launched tomorrow when the Duke of York is due to visit Audience Systems in his capacity as special representative for international investment and trade.

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