In 2021, we met with architects Mark and Cam to discuss their new business venture, Spatial. They had plans to create a studio that represented their own values and beliefs and stood in contrast to their competitors. They wanted our support in articulating their brand narrative.
In a series of workshops we asked— what will Spatial be known for in the future? What does the future look like for Spatial’s customers? How can the brand give its customers clarity and confidence in a project filled with so many unknowns? And in a competitive field, how can Spatial demonstrate their value to those they work with? What we uncovered about their strengths and interests is a penchant for solving complex design problems and a desire to create a culture of information sharing in their industry.
The value generated by a well designed built environment is hard to capture. Just as buildings have the potential to add value to people and communities, they can also do the opposite. For developers, the risks of getting it wrong are significant. And, with shrinking time and budget constraints, even small oversights or mistakes can be costly.
According to builders, few architects actively seek out opportunities to increase the profitability of their projects from the get go through mitigating risks, reducing costs and optimising space. Even fewer take the time to research the eventual impact of their work on the communities these buildings serve. While architects often speak about their creativity and originality, what many clients actually seek is efficacy. Being creative is a means to an end. It matters, but only to the extent that it solves their client’s problems and helps them succeed. From our research, we noticed a mismatch between what architects communicated on their website and what their clients said they wanted and needed.
In positioning Spatial, we discussed a move away from perceptions of being creative and towards being seen as ‘data-driven’ ‘analytical’ ‘logical’ and ‘innovative’. We established their brand message around optimising the potential of every space, and looking for opportunities to reduce risk for their clients. They would become known for practising evidence-led architecture, learning from the past, thoroughly investigating the present and measuring the impact of their work in the future. Being evidence-led meant that instead of asking their clients to see the value they bring to projects, Spatial actively demonstrates their value with tangible data. And instead of solving problems as they arise, Spatial aims to deliver clarity from the project’s earliest stages.
Spatial’s visual identity reflects the idea of optimising spaces, using grid layouts to rearrange letters inside a space. With the logo deliberately paired back, there is plenty of space to play with unusual layouts and arrangements, while still looking cohesive. The colours and fonts in their earthy tones are a nod to their primary brand archetype—The Sage— and their logical, data-driven approach.
While their tone changes depending on the situation, Spatial’s brand voice is always authentic, aspirational, expert, logical and balanced. Knowing that their clients are seeking to make smart, informed choices they share their knowledge freely. They steer away from trying to be the centre of attention, and instead choose to spotlight their clients.
As a new business, we needed support in defining our brand strategy, visual and verbal identity. Baker Creative worked with us to define a coherent identity that aligned with our vision and values. Their approach was insightful, collaborative and engaging and we felt supported, challenged and empowered throughout the process. The feedback so far from our clients and collaborators has been fantastic.”