What happens when you invite 12 rival design agencies to do posters for each other: Gardiner Richardson and Lloyd Northover

We are half way through our week long reveal of Truce Commission posters created by rival design firms. What is the Truce Commission you ask? Well we invited 12 rival design consultancies to do posters for each other. Why not? They always advise clients not to attempt their own creative work on the grounds they might be too close to certain issues to be objective. And it proved particularly timely as a way of marking the international day of peace – September 21.

We’ve already revealed the posters that rivals SEA and The Brand Union came up with, as well as the creative work resulting from the Howdy and Brilliant Path, and Cubo and Constuct ‘rivalries’ when they were given each other’s design briefs. Now it’s time to look at what Gardiner Richardson and Lloyd Northover thought of each other, you can find the work, briefs and rationales below. And remember, The Drum is continuing the Truce Commission by asking more agencies to get involved. Our first new brief will be published on Friday. Find out more here.Lloyd Northover's breif for Gardiner RichardsonBackground:Lloyd Northover was established in 1975. If you look back over the last 37 years, we’ve been there doing our stuff at almost every crucial moment. We were branding other airlines whilst Thatcher was causing her BA furore. We were developing the FSA brand when the world of finance was undergoing one of its many loss of confidences. We’ve worked in higher education as it’s gone through over two decades of dramatic change. And so on.We’re a brand communications consultancy that encompasses strategy, creative and implementation. It involves all the projects you’d expect and so much more. We’re specialists in place branding, higher education, business to business, government and the public sector, and financial services. What unites our diverse sectors is that they’re comprised of grown ups that want to tell the compelling truth about themselves. In the organisations we work with, we’re usually working with the senior team. Our message: We’re so busy managing brand positioning for our clients, we haven’t completed the exercise for ourselves. Cobblers’ children! Though we’re clear about the raw, driving messages behind it, we haven’t found the right shorthand or interesting expression of it. What we’re like?• We connect our disciplines – so we have account managers who are visually literate, creatives who can think, strategists who understand creative and delivery. No silos, just versatile communications specialists.• We connect our outputs – because we develop strategy, creative and manage implementation, our work is better. Our strategy is accountable, our creative works in implementation, our implementation respects the big idea. • We connect what we learn in one area and translate it to another – our sector expertise is diverse and it enriches the whole. So what we’ve learned in place branding, we’ve translated into higher education where place is all important. And so on. • We connect with people – we have long term client relationships (longest is 14 years), we’re fun to be around, we have empathy and we’re grounded. What it means for those who work with us?We make the right connections – we don’t just think in straight lines. We take the complex, see what really matters and make it simple. That’s what good communication is all about. We connect people with their goals – we’re brand communications specialists. Though this means the kind of projects you might expect (rebrands, guidelines etc), it means so much more besides (helping client bid teams turn their bids into real pieces of communication, developing recruitment campaigns etc). We connect our clients with their goals by the best means possible, whatever it is, whether it’s what they anticipated or not. We connect until we find the right creative spark that lights the touch-paper – and this runs through everything we do.We’d love to find a succinct and interesting way of getting these messages across please!Our visual brand: Our visual brand is black and white. The colour is provided by the work we do for our clients. You’ll see these principles play out on our website. Our logo comprises the LN symbol, but also the Lloyd Northover typographic mark. They need to be used together and probably don’t work as effectively together online as they should (the relationship between symbol and name isn’t suffi ciently clear and defi ned, the typographic mark is lost amongst the other copy). Cobblers’ children again! Our tone of voice: Our website will give you a good sense of this. We’re straight talking and aim to make the complex simple. We’re thoughtful but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. This also meanswe’re quite prepared to be light hearted and use the vernacular!Our poster: As you can see, we know what we stand for but spend so much time working with our clients, we haven’t really captured our message succinctly and well. We’d love our poster to get across the heart and soul of our offer, talking predominantly to prospective clients, but also the rest of the creative world.

Gardiner Richardson's poster for Lloyd Northover

The rationale from Darren Richardson, founder and director, Gardiner RichardsonTrying to capture the unique charm and personality of such an iconic brand was no mean feat. From reading the brief we quickly learned that Lloyd Northover exist to help clients achieve success by getting their brand to where they want it to be. They do this by connecting people, experiences and ideas. Our poster is a celebration of non-straightline thinking, making meaningful connections and simplifying the complex, with the ‘smile’ representative of a journey, and an emotional connection in its purest form.Gardiner Richardson's briefBackground: We’re a North East based brand communications agency. We’ve been in the business for 14 years and work with clients in the region, nationally and internationally around the world. We’ve got genuine specialisms across design, PR and digital that we combine in whichever ways we need to for any given project. We’re a friendly and intelligent group of people, happiest working in a collaborative environment and we are most passionate about work that makes a difference. It’s not what we do that matters most; it’s what this means for our clients that gives us the biggest buzz.What would we like our poster to say? We would like people to understand that we believe the most important question they need to ask themselves is not what we do, but what we can do for them. We would like them to understand the importance of their brand story at the heart of their brand meaning, and the importance of brand meaning at the core of brand value. Every brand has a story, but having a story means nothing unless you tell it. And telling your story means nothing unless you tell it well. A good story badly told is a bad story, whichever way you look at it. We are storytellers – we create conversations, establish connections and build relationships that bring brands to life through stories told with conviction that people believe in. Stories that intrigue, excite, inspire, motivate, reassure, convince, reinforce, educate, inform. Stories that get brands noticed and people talking, stories that get brands understood and people engaged and stories that get brands valued and people coming back for more. Who should your poster be aimed at? It’s for brand directors and managers with leadership responsibilities and vision. For people who care passionately about their brand, who already enjoy success and know that if they want to take their brand and business forward they need to keep moving, keep the story alive. It’s for individuals and organisations with ambition and determination; those who are prepared to make a commitment and are open minded and interested. Their brand is their world, and we want them to get a sense of what could happen when we make their brand our world too.What do they currently think of you?They probably think of us in many different ways. They probably instinctively put us in certain boxes based on their existing, rational and logical mindsets and their own experiences. As a result they probably understand us in the context of specifi c services that we provide and consider the value we can bring in terms of meeting specifi c requirements they have at any given point in time. More than likely, they will typically think of us as someone to help them solve a particular problem or challenge in their business. One name in their own yellow pages of people to call when the need arises. What would we like them to think about us after seeing the poster?We would like them to think of us not as a provider of specifi c services, these are simply the means to the end. We would like them to stop thinking about us in a problem solving context and realise that it’s not a case of ‘when the need arises’ – what we do best never stops - and start thinking about us as an opportunity. We’d like them to be curious, excited, inspired about the possibilities they could discover working with us. We would like them to understand that anyone can tell a story, but it takes someone special to know how to make it a story that people want to believe in. They need to believe that we are telling them a story about us that they can believe in. We would like them to think of us not just as storytellers, but as someone they can trust with their own story. In short we’d like them to think of us as a narrator for their brand. A constant voice that underpins their brand story, structuring, guiding and shaping the way they express it from chapter to chapter.

Lloyd Northover's poster for Gardiner Richardson

The rationale from Rebecca Price, managing director, Lloyd NorthoverBringing the story to the surface is what Gardiner Richardson does for its clients, for whom the story is often buried. We developed a storybook entitled ‘Never judge a book by its cover’. Its beginning, middle and end are reinforced by the use of language, the typographic treatment and placement of copy. The book folds out to a poster emphasising what Gardiner Richardson delivers to its clients and itself, ‘Great stories happen to those who can see them’.

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