Mystery solves trust identity brief

The Edward James Foundation is planning to update its identity with the help of Mystery Design, as the West Sussex charitable trust moves to unify and strengthen the profile of its five business interests.

The foundation comprises West Dean College – which offers training in conservation, restoration, and visual and applied arts – local gardens, a tapestry studio, conference facilities and a forestry and farming estate.

According to The Edward James Foundation head of communications Alison Moran, who commissioned the work jointly with principal of West Dean College Robert Pulley, there is a critical need for the trust to build a stronger brand identity.

‘[The foundation] had, to our minds, been a well-kept secret in its own sectors,’ she says. ‘Education in particular is becoming highly competitive, and we felt the need to communicate [our offerings] more widely.’

Moran says Mystery Design was briefed to create a ‘beautifully crafted’ identity, adding that it had to act ‘as a unifying device across the strands of our activities, which have very different audiences and messages to communicate’.

Mystery Design director Dan Einzig, who is creative lead on the project, says the consultancy’s vision is to ‘rationalise the foundation’s identity, using West Dean at the top of the hierarchy’. The group recently presented first concepts for a ‘history meets contemporary’ logo, inspired by The Golden Section and a strapline, ‘Discovery & inspiration’.

According to Moran, the new look will first be applied to the foundation’s stationery, eventually rolling out across a prospectus, leaflets, a press pack, merchandising and a website, www.west dean.org.

The six-person design consultancy beat three other groups in November – Fitch:London, Lambie-Nairn and Langsford Corporate Design – to win the work, worth a five-figure fee.

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