Porgie’s is a London based catering company that looks after every tummy – big and small. Multiple States handled the re-branding when their business focus shifted.
Kevin Beck quizzes project lead, Will McLean, on re-branding without confusing customers and retaining energy within vector illustrations.
I designed and built Porgie’s old website a few years ago, before we started Multiple States. Porgie’s was then solely a children’s catering company. The branding and site was therefore very ‘kiddy’ with big blocky type, a very punchy colour scheme and oddball alien illustrations. However, since then the business structure had changed and they were offering much more in the way of traditional ‘grown-up’ catering. Therefore the branding had to change, and with it the site.
We believe in making branding changes in incremental stages and not creating something that is unrecognisable from the previous branding. The customers still needed to recognise Porgie’s as that brand they had become attached to, but also see that they were offering new services. For that reason we chose to use illustrations and colour in a similar way, but to update the form and subject of them to be more attractive to an older audience. We also decided to retain the original colour scheme for all kids-related pages, as a way to highlight the difference in services.
We began with the original illustrations, drawn using a Wacom tablet in Photoshop. They were all flat colours and and bouncy shapes. We wanted the new illustrations to have sharper lines, but still retain an air of looseness. We considered drawing them straight into the computer as vectors - however we wanted to avoid them becoming mathematical and lifeless, as so often happens with vector drawings. We decided to cut the shapes out of paper and to trace those. Using scissors to create the shapes lead to the beautiful inconsistencies in form that the shapes now have. We are firm believers in the importance of getting away from the screen when you can.
We believe that it is better to achieve a limited number of things really well than to try and achieve lots of things and ending up not doing any of them very well. Quality over quantity. There was a lot to do for a limited budget in terms of managing the change in branding as well as completely rebuilding the site. For this reason we invested a lot of time into the typography, the colours, the illustrations and the content. We decided early that the best way to do all these things justice was to keep the actual page layouts very minimal. This served to both reduce cost AND allow those elements we did invest a lot of time into to have space to shine!
We used a really great little CMS called Kirby. It has a very user friendly and nicely designed backend and does not use a database, which removes a lot of unnecessary complexity for a site such as this. The development time with a CMS like this is much smaller than with something like Wordpress - meaning more effort could be put into the styling.