Struggling photographic laboratory Metro has engaged the services of Ranch Design to boost its chances of survival in the photography market. Because of the rise of digital photography, Metro has been forced to cut its staff from 300 to 120 over the past three years, and to concentrate on high-end photographic services.
Ranch will rebrand the company and redesign its website. Aiming for a ‘warm and friendly’ image, Metro briefed long-term design partner Ranch to rid it of the ‘colder and more clinical’ image that the consultancy created for the company 20 years ago. ‘Most of our competitors have disappeared in the past few years, but we want people to know that we are still here, and that we have a fresh image and a new approach,’ says Metro managing director Ben Richardson.
Ranch founder Paul Jenkins says, ‘It has been a challenge to retain the recognition of the old identity while giving the company an entirely new image. We updated the logo by taking away the serif type and reducing the space between the letters.
‘To keep the logo recognisable we retained the red and black squares, which represent a photographic negative and the red light of a dark room,’ Jenkins adds.
‘Besides Metro’s downsizing, times have changed and many companies are going for a warmer, more human image.’
The identity will appear at the end of this month in print ads, before being rolled out across packaging, newsletters, thewebsite and two London shop, all designed by Ranch.