What we do.
Neon is an award winning independent branding and graphic design consultancy, founded and led by Creative Director Dana Robertson.
We work in a multitude of sectors, with some iconic brands, as well as some great little guys. Whether we’re creating new brands or revitalising existing ones, ideas, intelligence and craft are at the heart of everything we do.
We’re always looking to find fun and unexpected – or sober and serious – ways for brands to engage and communicate more effectively, whoever the audience, whatever the media.
At the same time, we never miss a chance to ensure that everyone enjoys the ride.
Life’s too short not to…
At Neon, we work in partnership with clients to deliver engaging and insightful problem-solving ideas, executed beautifully.
Hundreds of agencies use the word creative and each would give you their own definition. For us, it means cultivating a wild mind and a disciplined eye — using intelligence and wit to make people think, smile, pause, feel, understand, or simply be intrigued.
It means working hard to understand each client’s business, digging deep – right down to the roots – to find out what makes them different, and how they can gain an edge over their competitors.
Over the years, we’ve worked on an incredibly broad spectrum of projects for a hugely diverse mix of clients. We’ve created, revitalised, developed, extended or advised a host of well known national and international brands.
We don’t specialise in any sector; we love the challenge of immersing ourselves in new ones – and you’d be amazed at the wide variety of specialist knowledge we’ve picked up along the way.
Our focus is on solving brand communication problems, whether by defining compelling strategic positionings, originating memorable new brand names, or creating powerful and distinctive brand identities.
We also help brands to express themselves through literature, print and online, in advertising, retail, and environments — as you’ll see, when you treat yourself to a little browse through our work.
Every brand project is different, so we most emphatically don’t have a standard one-size-fits all approach to what we do. That said, there are certain key processes, disciplines and phases of work some or all of which will help to give shape and structure to virtually any project. Here’s a very brief summary of our skills and expertise in each of these broad areas:
Brand reflection — review, research and immerse
- Review brand architecture, company structure
- Audit and review visual brand assets and communications
- Assess brands against current and future competitors
- Investigate current sector trends
- Review core messages and product or service truisms
Brand breakthrough — creative strategic thinking
- Identify clear brand market positionings
- Define compelling brand propositions
- Originate new and unique brand names
- Articulate brand personality and tone of voice
- Determine appropriate brand architectures
Brand distinction — unique creative manifestation
- Create distinct and memorable brand identities
- Develop recognition through brand expression
- Define principles for brand language and written tone of voice
- Build schemes that facilitate both unbridled creativity and control
Brand expression — realisation of key brand materials
- Bring to life animated brand idents
- Direct and produce internal and external brand movies
- Detail and document brand assets in brand books and guidelines
- Produce engaging promotional campaigns
- Design engaging and memorable literature
- Create websites and on-line advertising
- Realise engaging retail campaigns and environments
- Devise helpful and innovative signage systems
- Craft beautiful posters and witty print advertising
- Design engaging and functional packaging
Brand partnership — launch, maintain and guide
- Launch strategy consultation
- Communication planning
- Creative and strategic brand guardianship
- Agency briefings, handovers and masterclasses
- Brand reviews for stability and consistency
- Production co-ordination and control
- Creative direction of internal creative or marketing teams
We find life much more interesting when it’s varied and a bit unpredictable. So think of us as the branding and graphic design consultancy that likes to say “yes” – provided the project sounds interesting, and we can see an opportunity to do great work.
But what do we draw the line at? We’ve scratched our heads, and come up with four things that we never, ever do:
- Free creative pitching. Sorry, but we just don’t agree with it – though we’re always very happy to meet potential clients, discuss their communications issues, put together outline proposals, and so on.
- Take ourselves too seriously. Well, there’s nothing worse than brand designers who mistake themselves for tortured artists or a neuro-surgeon, is there?
- Stop listening to, or learning from, our incredibly varied and fascinating clients.
- Forget, or take for granted, all the help and support Neon has had over the years from lots of wonderful friends, including (in no particular order):
Sue Robertson, Ray Gregory, John Richies, David Stuart, Aziz Cami, Greg Quinton, Michael Peters, Claire Robinson, Manfred Abraham, David McLaren, Lindsay Camp, Tom Banks, Jack Pearce, Peter Silk, Nina Jenkins, Carrie Stokes, Mark Lester, Graham Robertson, Spencer Forster, John Geary, Dan Calderwood, Sheona Michie, Lucy Blazey, Carl Byrne, Jean-Luc Viard-Gaudin, Jim Sutherland, David Kimpton, Mike Hall, Phil Wareham, Robin Dean, Matt Lane, Steve Barnes, Vivenne Seely, Nicola Yarrow, Lyndon Povey, Vicki Willats, Ben Monk, Guy Heath, Nick Garrett, Matt Stuart, Abi Taylor, Sam Cundall, Tom Bland, Michael Trew, Ian Firth, Hamish Campbell, John Hughes, Nina Fortune, Caroline Sweet, Rebecca van Rooijen, Karin Painter, Wayne Martin, Karen Baxter, Paul Dyson, Jitesh Kapadia, David Kelly, Jennifer de Vera, Kevin Sheath, and Harley the dachshund.