Business Link previously occupied physical spaces as well as an online presence, though now, according to Smith & Milton, the service is moving solely online and phasing out the physical outlets.
The consultancy was appointed to the rebrand project without a pitch having been on the roster for design rosters for the Central Office of Information, and began work on the project in mid-2010.
The project involved creating a new brand strategy, identity and ‘customer’ promise’ for the service, aiming to move the service forward with its online presence.
David Haseler, strategy director at Smith & Milton says, ‘Business Link needed to ensure it is perceived as clear, informative and helpful. In communicating this positioning we took some of our inspiration from Harry Beck and his original London Underground map, which today is still one of the best examples of a design language that provides “everything you need” and “nothing you don’t.”’
Smith & Milton creative director Steven Anderson adds that while the consultancy was given a ‘very open’ brief, the logo and identity retained the sense of linking from its previous incarnation.
Anderson says, ‘We went for a much friendlier, brighter happier identity than a typical “Government” identity. It’s much more about business people so we showed pictures of people who might use the service to make it seem positive and helpful, but also trustworthy.’
The new logo shows a linked lower case ‘b’ and ‘l’; while the colour palette retains the green and blue of the previous identity, which is shown across the logo and also on coloured photograph imagery of people.
Anderson says, ‘We wanted to show a lot of different people and get a lot of ethnic diversity to show a range of business-people out there. Rather than using just real photographs we wanted bright, positive colour schemes.’
The identity will be shown across the website, which has been designed by Business Link’s in-house team, according to Smith & Milton, and on other materials such as brochures.