• Sarah Conway
  • Dale Rogers

black+blum are a multi-award winning design studio based in the creative hub of London’s Southbank. Passionate about creating beautiful and functional designs, Dan Black and Martin Blum have an eclectic taste, which is evident in the varying aesthetics of their work. Having recently taken the company reins, Dan was keen to develop each collection whilst preserving the identity of the black+blum brand, and challenged me to come up with a story driven solution.

Care was taken to get to the heart of each collection and to develop a discrete visual and verbal identity for each. By reimagining the three core black+blum collections as stories, I was able to define the distinct characteristics both of the product range and its target audience. black+blum ‘Originals‘ are characterised by colour and fun whilst the classical burnished curves of ‘Loop Maison‘ ooze timeless sophistication. ‘Box Appetit‘ meanwhile, the latest addition to the black+blum family, represents a third exciting creative direction, marrying elegance and sustainability. Each collection was effectively an autonomous brand, and each had its own personality, tone and voice. My priority was to ensure that each of those voices was authentic, evocative and clear.
The creation of Brand Manuals and Style Guides ensures that teams can communicate on behalf of their company in a consistent voice. The Brand Manual includes a technical section on writing style, definition of brand voice (who is speaking), key messaging (what is being said), and any tone variations. It also matches the message to the target audience via demographic profiling. Style Guides, prepared content for different uses and channels, are a resource for anyone creating copy or communicating verbally on behalf of the company
“Working with Sarah helped us better understand and connect our physical designs with the words we used to describe them. Although we continually challenge our brand aesthetic, we didn’t have the skills to define what they were in a written context. It was a hugely useful exercise that will help all aspects of our communication going forward.”
(Dan Black, black+blum Director and Lead Designer)