Date: October 2016

Launching a new destination brand and effective communications for one of Greater London's well-known boroughs.

We developed a brand identity that embodies Romford’s strength, perseverance and aspirations for the future. With the introduction of Crossrail in 2017 the town really is on the up.

The Nixon Design meeting room, with photos and writing on the whiteboard walls.

Exploring the brief

A wide range of ideas were brainstormed, refined and evaluated against the creative brief.

A diagram showing the dice and cube inspiration for the Romford brand logo.

The luckiest town in Britain

We based the design concept for Romford’s logo around luck, following a tabloid statistic that revealed Romford as the luckiest postcode in Britain. We took the dice as a popular symbol of chance and fortune, which when viewed isometrically shows seven of its eight corners – additionally having fun with the concept of ‘lucky number seven’ and matching the amount of letters making up the name ‘Romford’. 

A paragraph of text about research showing that words can be jumbled yet still be understood so long as the first and last letters are in the right place.

Rsearech

We then combined the dice observation with another trait of Romford – to be challenging. We used a popular piece of research that demonstrates how letters in a word can be rearranged randomly, yet as long as the first and last letters stay the same, the word remains recognisable. After trying out a few options we settled on an arrangement that had the best balance of being challenging but still identifiable as ‘Romford’.

Variations on the Romford logo with the letters in different orders.
The letter R from the Romford typeface.

Custom typeface

We chose to create a bespoke typeface for Romford so that the identity comprehensively embodies the town’s unique spirit and values. With help from typographer Aaron Chiffers we designed an all-uppercase, monospaced typeface, a style where each letter occupies the same amount of space – a suitably uncompromising approach to lettering. Based on a simple square grid, each letter expresses a level of unashamed candidness that matches Romford’s character.

ABC XYZ in the Romford typeface. 0123456789 in the Romford typeface. A range of arrows in the Romford brand typeface. A range of symbols in the Romford typeface.

The grid

Returning to the dice, we generated an underlying grid that can be used to create dynamic layouts for marketing materials. This also helped form a holding device for the word mark that completed the design of the logo.

The Romford logo by Nixon Design, blue on pink. The Romford logo by Nixon Design, red on yellow on turquoise. The Romford logo by Nixon Design, purple on pink on yellow. The Romford logo by Nixon Design, yellow on green on blue.
The Romford logo at different sizes on a grid.

Pattern and palette

The isometric grid can also be used to generate an exciting array of different patterns. Paired with the vibrant and arresting colour palette, these form stimulating backdrops to designs and slogans.

A geometric pattern for the Romford brand. A geometric pattern. A pattern of coloured zig-zagging lines. A colourful geometric pattern for Romford.

Colourful language

Embodying the town's lively spirit, Romford Sans has an alternating version, which gives the text a sense of energy, movement and character in keeping with the Romford logo and the underlying isometric grid.

The word 'alternating' in an alternating down-up typeface, white on black. 'Kicking off' in an alternating down-up typeface. 'Yes mate' in an alternating down-up typeface. 'Oh my days!' in an alternating down-up typeface.
The Romford brand guidelines by Nixon Design, including colour and typography.
The front cover of the Romford brand values.
A page in the Romford brand values, with 'Branding Romford' in alternating text. The word 'Discovery' written across a double-page spread of images and text in the Romford brand guidelines. The logo rationale from the Romford brand guidelines. Supporting elements from the Romford brand guidelines, including typography, patterns and colours.

A brand to be used by everyone

With a comprehensive set of guidelines, a brand document and versatile designs, the Romford identity has ultimate usability across media platforms.

A mocked-up billboard reading 'Romford this way'.
A mocked-up billboard reading 'Proper lively'. Swimming pool hoarding in the Romford brand style mocked up for a building site.
A mocked-up advertising hoarding in Romford, with a colourful geometric pattern.

Credits

Animation by Lightbox Inc.