Graphic Design | Brochure Design | Identity Design | Brand Love | Brand Strategy
Creating brands and identities with real meaning is one of the things we enjoy doing most at the loft. This has never been more apparent than with our collaboration with The Leven Car Company. The Leven Car Company is a luxury car retailer which specialises in the sales and servicing of high-performance vehicles. The organisation was founded by Hugh and Chris McMahon who had owned and eventually sold The Lomond Audi Group (now known as Lookers Audi.) They were looking to create a new organisation which had outstanding service at the heart of what it does. Aston Martin and Rolls Royce would be the first two brands to be adopted by the new brand and we were asked to create an identity which ‘would sit comfortably alongside two of the finest automotive brands in the world without looking out of place.’
This is ‘The Leven Car Company, A Brand With Meaning.’
The brand we created for The Leven Car Company sits alongside some of the finest brands in the world – this includes Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche, etc – as can be seen with the photographs above.
We were delighted to be given the opportunity to create ‘The Most Beautiful Business Cards In The World’ for the great folks at The Leven Car Company. Duplex, twin-layer, letter-pressed, silver foiled business cards – these beauties were produced by our good friends at Glasgow Letterpress.
The loft worked with the organisation on a number of other creative projects long after the completion of the brand identity. One very special project was this brochure and campaign ‘The Collectors Edition’ showcasing three beautiful, specialist V8 Ferraris for Sale – the 360 Challenge Stradale, the 430 Scuderia and the incredible 458 Speciale.
Alongside the brand identity, we worked very closely with the entire team at The Leven Car Company, to craft a brand statement that once again was full of purpose, meaning and would resonate with staff-members and customers alike.
The final identity design for The Leven Car Company, we are going to go back a few steps and now show you how it was created…
The brand was created by working in a very collaborative way with the team at The Leven Car Company and truly understanding what they wanted to communicate. One of the ways we did this was asking them to start by saying everything they wanted the new brand to stand for and providing a safe, creative space for them to express themselves fully. This allowed us to get a much richer variety of words and ideas from which to start our creative explorations. (The above words are some basic values that were important to both Hugh and Chris McMahon at the start of the project.)
A very wide range of visual themes were explored which would bring these values to life – everything from Celtic knots to monograms to tattoos to the river Leven itself. At the loft, we take the research stage very seriously and we are always looking for as wide a source of inspirations as possible. it is important to be non-committal at this stage, and just let the ideas flow.
And as you can see, we explore lots and lots of different sketches too…
However, the theme that eventually won everybody over was a beautiful idea of ‘Chinese Whispers.’ If you selflessly do a good deed for others, word will get around regardless. This was particularly true in the previous business ran by Hugh and Chris McMahon. They were widely acknowledged as being two of the most meticulous and focussed leaders in the automotive trade when it came to ‘customer-service.’ An idea, they strongly wanted to embed into the culture of The Leven Car Company. Do right by your customers and they will do right by you.
This theme worked its way into our drawings, these are some of the early initial concept sketches – you can see early on this idea of ‘Chinese whispers,’ of people being at the heart of the brand and of them talking to each other.
We are always very careful to not hone in too quickly on one idea and explored other concepts as well. Some of the early conceptual work that was rejected was the visual idea of a modern Celtic knot symbolising an unbreakable bond between The Leven Car Company and its customers.
However, the chosen design path eventually had an identity featuring the faces of people – and the loft team showed a real attention to detail for every aspect of the new identity – in the examples above – you can see an exploration of different line weights and minute explorations of character spacing with the letters.
As the logo was progressing very nicely indeed, we re-focussed our attention on other parts of the brand. We were creating a brand and not just an identity so we explored colour themes that would be used for this project as well as future brand communications.
And communicating a ‘high-quality feel’ was also important so we explored various paper-print finishes for the main printed items – you can see some stunning examples of copper foil, UV print finishes and blind presses.
And as already mentioned – hand-drawn sketches played a considerable part in the process – being able to sketch out the key parts of the identity quickly helped us to realise if we had created something which was effortlessly simple enough.
The final identity was unanimously appreciated by everybody at The Leven Car Company including the Founders Chris and Hugh McMahon. It was the perfect launchpad for the new brand.
As requested, a brand absolutely packed with symbolism and meaning.
A little work went on the brand experience/messaging for both staff and customers alike… Here is one of the early strategy boards.
Some of the very kind words we received from one of the company founders, Chris McMahon.
Several years on, we remain delighted with our collaboration with The Leven Car Company.
Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line, if you’d like to know about our collaboration with The Leven Car Company or if you would like any further information on our branding activities.
Thanks for reading, the loft team.