BrandOpus serves up a “more emotive” rebrand for Cathedral City

The cheddar brand’s new look aims to deepen connections with consumers at a time of widespread uncertainty.

BrandOpus has overhauled the branding for Cathedral City cheddar cheese, incorporating influences from screen-printed illustration and sign painting.

The consultancy’s work includes a new logo, type system, packaging as well as motion video and sound assets. Cathedral City was founded over 50 years ago, and to this day the cheese is made in Cornwall.

Cathedral City’s branding before (left) and after (right)

According to BrandOpus senior designer Nicole Hammersley, the brand wanted to strengthen its market position at a time of unpredictability. “The brand knew that with everything uncertain going on in the world (Brexit, COVID, inflation etc), it was more important than ever to deepen its connection with consumers,” Hammersley says.

“The rebrand aims to build on the brand’s rich heritage and package that in a more emotive and meaningful way, that will last today and tomorrow,” the designer adds. Another ambition was to appeal to new customers, she explains.

The updated logo (right) and previous design (left)

The updated packaging features a new typeface – inspired by sign painting – and a redrawn cathedral. “By shifting the angle to be front on and at the heart of a bustling city, we could better reflect everyday life,” says Hammersley.

The various elements, from the trees and birds to new characters, bring a “bustling liveliness” to the branding, she adds.

The illustration style was inspired by block screen printing, while the scene can be expanded to show a wider cityscape. Stamps have been designed – which denote where ingredients have been sourced and other quality checks – which resemble “carefully crafted and stamp-like makers’ marks’”, the design team says.

BrandOpus has also introduced a new navigation system which indicates the different ranges through a series of brightly colour banners. Each of those products is referred to as ‘Our…’ which aims to bring a “sense of pride to the product”, the team explains. The primary burgundy tone has been retained, and paired with shades of creams, golds and deeper burgundies for an injection of “breadth and warmth”.

The design consultancy has also crafted animations and a sonic identity for the new branding, which seek to convey a “vibrant community and city bursting with life,” says BrandOpus. The resulting sound design features a pizzicato movement (the technique of plucking strings) and the sounds of daily life.

“Heart and soul are rooted deep in Cathedral City’s DNA,” says BrandOpus CEO Nir Wegrzyn, “and it’s now threaded through the identity, distinctive assets, and the entire brand experience in a more meaningful way.”

What do you think of Cathedral City’s new branding? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • David Jefferis May 12, 2022 at 11:38 am

    It would help if the packet was more explicit about which ‘Cathedral City’ the brand is from – Truro in Cornwall.
    Anchor butter now proclaims it is ‘From the heart of the West Country… Westbury Wiltshire.’

  • Tim Riches May 12, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    Personally I prefer the original logo particularly the building and the curve which lends itself better to the new curved banners. I get the enhancements: stamps, bags, colours etc, but it looks rather cottage industry trying too hard and desperate for investment.

  • Steve May 13, 2022 at 11:54 am

    Completely pointless rebrand.

  • Harry May 13, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    A truly awful and lazy rebrand. The Cathedral illustration with its over-simplistic style talks down to consumers, looks basic, childish and didn’t need changing at all. The old one was fine! Overall it just feels like its had its heart and soul stripped out in favour of something that obviously looks like it was designed on the apple mac 10 minutes before the 1st presentation and then on designed by committee. Very poor, and typical of this agency’s work of late.

  • Sam Barone May 13, 2022 at 10:14 pm

    And let’s not forget that at the end of the day, branding only goes so far. If the stuff in the package isn’t any good, all the rebranding in the world won’t help.

  • Jim Batty May 15, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    I like it. I prefer the straight line text of the logo — that curve of the original must really restrict its flexibility and use — and the tree and house figures are attractive and set a friendly, inviting mood.

    I tend to think of this flat illustration style as ‘felt cutout’, rather than screen print. It reminds me of what we used to do as kids (in the 60s), cutting out figures and shapes in different coloured sheets of felt fabric … and sticking them onto a felt background. It was easy to move the elements around, replace them, overlap bits.

  • guy May 15, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    I like the new illustrative style and expanded brand visual “story”. Without the grad in the background it will also be easier to print too. Good to have a suite of ownable assets to use in the broader brand communication.
    However the brand itself now feels less ownable and certainly less premium. Without the curve it is also easier to copy by value retailers (or the value retailers can now take the curve and use it!). What irks me the most is some of the post-rationalised tripe that has been used to justify the change. “By shifting the angle to be front on and at the heart of a bustling city, we could better reflect everyday life,”…Why is a front-on angle more reflective of everyday life??? Also, the “carefully crafted and stamp-like makers’ marks’” are anything but ownable or unique. They closely resemble almost all “stamps” that are used widely in the retail environment to communicate almost anything to do with fresh products. They don’t match the new brand visual tone of voice and are totally generic.
    Finally the brightly coloured product differentiator panels. Oh dear, I can almost hear one designer saying to another “if in doubt, banner it out!”.
    Five out of ten for effort.

  • Graham May 15, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    A sideways move!

  • Sam May 15, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    A definite improvement, but I genuinely cant wait to see – every designers favourite – the trusty rebranded tote – flooding the streets as cathedral city rebrand takes the nation by storm. Even for a design agency there is some top notch nonsense in the reasoning… it’s just cheese mate, it’s not the golden thread of life itself… 😉

    • Tom Rhodes May 25, 2022 at 6:48 pm

      I’m glad somebody said this. Nobody who buys Cathedral Cheddar cheese from their supermarket wants to have a ‘meaningful’ experience. They just want a reasonably-priced, quality-assured, high cholesterol sandwich filler. Rebrand is fine.

  • Terry Tibbs May 16, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    This got me crying in the cheese aisle. Mission accomplished.

  • Mike Harper May 17, 2022 at 4:37 pm

    It’s commentary like this that gives the design industry a bad name. Sorry how on earth does that new design convey emotion and ‘last today and tomorrow’. Utter nonsense. The design looks far less authoritative and confident than it did before.

  • Mike Dempsey May 19, 2022 at 8:59 am

    Ironically this ‘Cathedral City’ cheese brand looks like the ‘York City FC’ brand, both in colour and graphic styling (see the DW news section). Both predictable and equally dull.

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