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GCS Unveils New Brand Identity

GCS Unveils New Brand Identity

In 1991, Chris Bartlett took a blue felt-tip pen and, on the back of a piece of card, drew what would become the first logo for GCS. Whilst elements of the design have been modified, the basic logo remained the same for 22 years until marketing manager Daniel Evans proposed a change to the GCS visual identity.

"After nearly 18 months with GCS, I had developed a genuine understanding of the company culture and I didn't think that the existing identity was a true reflection of our organisation" explains Evans. "I felt that the dark and bold design was not appropriate for a people business - and it certainly didn't reflect GCS' attitude towards its employees and customers. Our brand identity needed to be brought into the 21st century. As far as I was concerned, it needed to become more welcoming and approachable and more closely reflect our values of passion, professionalism, integrity, responsibility and improvement."

"Over the last 20 years or so, the logo hasn't changed much because I didn't think it need to" said company founder Bartlett. "I was open to Daniel's suggestion that we refresh our look and feel - but I felt it might be difficult to persuade me to make any drastic changes".

As part of the process, Evans suggested involving students from the University of Reading, an institution that Bartlett knows well, having lectured there several times over the last few years. Partnering with the University's Real Jobs program, GCS offered five groups of design students an opportunity to create an alternative design for the company logo.

"I was keen to make this a CSR project as well as a rebranding exercise" says Evans. "I thought the idea of getting local students involved would appeal to Chris' ongoing enthusiasm for contributing to the local community. It also gave us an opportunity to offer the design industry's future talent a chance to put theory into practise, and experience what it is like to work for real clients on real projects."

After several meetings, feedback sessions and pitches spanning more than five months, a winning team was chosen. The logo, designed by Lucy Donaldson, Nikki Oakes and Chelsea Carpenter, uses a clean, fresh font and incorporates three coloured circles, each representing one of the company's three divisions, Technology (Green), Engineering (Red) and Financial Services (Blue).

Evans said "The new logo has allowed us to build a new visual identity, one which more closely represents our business. The brand has now been rolled out across all three offices and I look forward to the next stage of the rebrand when we launch our new website next month".

"I'm delighted with the outcome" says Bartlett. "Despite my initial reticence, it was definitely the right move - it's a new logo for a new chapter in GCS’ history."


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