Beginning with a datum

In construction and surveying, a datum is a fixed starting point to work from. When creating new brands, we almost always begin by developing the brand name first – and that name becomes our datum, so to speak. For this project, we collaborated with our client extensively, generating well over a hundred potential brand names to choose from. The next step was to narrow our longlist down to a few favourites before it became clear that Datum was the best starting point for building a brand as well as a structure. With our name agreed upon, we then moved forward with developing the look and feel.

A new design benchmark in the category

Before getting started on design work, we conducted a thorough competitor review and noticed a distinct lack of symbolism in specialist competitors’ brandmarks. This meant there were plenty of ownable symbols and shapes we could draw inspiration from, and that the Datum brand could own. In close consultation with our client, we opted for a design based upon the ‘ordnance datum’ symbol that was historically used to calculate the height of structures above mean sea level.

Colours coordinated

With a strong name and an ownable shape agreed upon, the next step was to decide which colours would best bring the brand to life. Since the category was already saturated with bold hues, we made a strategic decision to differentiate Datum from at least its top three competitors with an eye-catching orange and black that exudes precision and professionalism while standing out on the work site.

Style with substance

The Datum product suite was to begin with 28 products, with the branding applied to each product. To help make this roll out as smooth as possible, we created a comprehensive style guide, complete with multiple logo versions and colourways as well as clear rules around its placement.

The project covered

Visual identity | Design asset creation | Brand guidelines

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