What comes first, the brand or the interiors?

15th November 2023/0/0

Run For The Hills was founded by a Graphic Designer (me, Chris Trotman) and an Interior Designer (Anna Burles). Merging our expertise and experience in the creative industries, to form a creative design studio that specialises in creating unique and memorable spaces.

Therefore we have two distinct teams (graphics and interiors), beavering away on separate branding and interior design projects. But the magic happens when both teams work collaboratively, concepting the brand identity and the interiors simultaneously, to make sure both work together as harmoniously as possible. Where every touch point has been carefully considered, the interiors inspiring elements of the brand, and brand elements embedded in the interiors. And this doesn’t mean sticking logos everywhere – I am using the word ‘brand’ loosely to cover the more artistic touches we like to inject into the brands we create.

Sharing a studio means there is lots of interaction, looking over shoulders at laptop screens and seeing what each team is up to, as well as regular catch ups and brainstorms. Brand inspiration can come from decorative elements in the interior scheme. And brand language imagery can make their way into bespoke fabric patterns, making sure the spaces we create are infused with what we like to call ‘invisible branding’.

From bespoke wallpapers subtly using illustrations we have created for the brands website, or creative neon installations of music lyrics that channel the spirit of the brand, or hand painted murals made from key colours from the interiors colour scheme.

So for us neither the brand nor the interiors come first, we concept them both at the same time. This simultaneous approach assures consonance  between the two. It is also quicker for the client who would otherwise have to do things consecutively (going to a branding studio first, to then take the brand to an interior design or architect company, who might have different agendas). And time is often of the essence when it comes to making the best use of rent free periods.

It also means we are well equipped to deal with any grey areas, like signage and wayfinding. Where the design of these elements would fall into the branding category, but the materiality and positioning potentially falling in the remit of the interiors team.

We like to collaborate on art – whether that’s our interiors team sourcing it, or our graphics team creating art collections around a theme that is central to the brand, or a bit of both.

We follow the RIBA design stages and present creative together. So the client gets concept ideas for the proposed look & feel of the interior space paired thoughtfully with perfect brand solutions. Interiors and brand completely intertwined, as they should be. Both teams develop the chosen design in tandem.

I can’t see how any other approach would work better?