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Brand, design, and dev. All under one roof.

Our ser­vices

Brand kit

  • The basis of any brand is its iden­ti­ty. It’s the clothes that it wears. How you dress your com­pa­ny depends on who your audi­ence is, what your goals are, and how you want to be per­ceived. With so much choice avail­able to cus­tomers now, get­ting this right is inte­gral — it’s the first impres­sion any cus­tomer will get, and it must be dead on. Get it right, and you’ve got your­self an instant­ly recog­nis­able brand that will stand head and shoul­ders above your competition.

  • Not yet ready to dive into a full-scale brand­ing exer­cise, but you still want some advice on how to improve your brand? We can con­sult on your brand, and pull togeth­er a com­pre­hen­sive plan for how you could approach mak­ing changes. Remem­ber, com­pa­ny per­cep­tion alters with every brand change that you make — our con­sul­ta­tion gives you piece of mind that any changes you do make, are the cor­rect ones.

  • Much like a gar­den, your brand needs con­stant atten­tion, whether it’s adding new ele­ments, mak­ing some changes, or prun­ing the dead wood. A brand audit can be the per­fect way to assess what you have cur­rent­ly, and eval­u­ate your posi­tion in the mar­ket, estab­lish its strengths and weak­ness­es, and begin to under­stand places where improve­ments can be made.

  • Sink­ing an invest­ment in your brand is one thing, but over time, with­out con­stant vig­i­lance, there is the poten­tial that it is dilut­ed. Not delib­er­ate­ly usu­al­ly, but par­tic­u­lar­ly as you grow, you add more voic­es to the team, and things can start to stretch and warp from the con­cep­tion of the brand. This can lead to it becom­ing some­thing it was nev­er intend­ed, and all its val­ue sud­den­ly whit­tles away. We can pro­vide guid­ance on how to pro­tect your brand so that this doesn’t hap­pen, and sug­gest best prac­tices for ensur­ing its longevity.

  • Brand­ing is a com­plex web of visu­als and expe­ri­ences, tone and per­son­al­i­ty, all com­bined to cre­ate the look and feel of your com­pa­ny. Brand guide­lines are a doc­u­ment­ed set of rules and stan­dards that com­mu­ni­cate how your brand should be pre­sent­ed to your audi­ence. They ensure con­sis­ten­cy, and act as a fan­tas­tic tool for demon­strat­ing what the brand stands for to inter­nal stake­hold­ers and cus­tomers alike. They can even be used as an onboard­ing tool for new employ­ees. We can cre­ate suc­cinct and easy to fol­low brand guide­lines that will encap­su­late your entire brand iden­ti­ty and ethos more manageably.

  • Before a brand can be estab­lished, it’s impor­tant to con­sid­er the unique sell­ing point of your com­pa­ny, your cus­tomers needs, your place in the mar­ket, and your com­pe­ti­tion. Our com­pre­hen­sive dis­cov­ery process starts with evi­dence gath­er­ing, research, and analy­sis, and con­cludes in a writ­ten report and pre­sen­ta­tion of our find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions for how your brand should be con­ceived. Think of this as the secret sauce to cre­at­ing brands that last.

  • Gone are the days when rebrand­ing sig­ni­fied the death knoll for a com­pa­ny. These days, it’s smart busi­ness prac­tice to reassess your brand at reg­u­lar inter­vals and make changes to ensure you con­tin­ue to serve your audi­ence. It could be as sim­ple as rejig­ging some minor com­po­nents of your brand, or as big as renam­ing the com­pa­ny and start­ing over. Our process takes the pain out of rebrand­ing, ensur­ing that you base any changes on sound evi­dence and brand­ing expertise.

  • No one size fits all, but con­sid­er brand onboard­ing to be an oppor­tu­ni­ty to go on a tour of your brand with the goal of bring­ing peo­ple — be that team mem­bers, stake­hold­ers, investors, or cus­tomers — up-to-speed on your brand. Often used when new brands launch, or dur­ing rebrand­ing, our onboard­ing process ensures nobody is in the dark about your brand.

  • So, you have a brand — now what? Well, it could be the best brand ever con­ceived, but if nobody knows about it, it won’t make a jot of dif­fer­ence. Our com­mu­ni­ca­tions strat­e­gy frame­work pro­vides under­stand­ing of the mes­sages you should be com­mu­ni­cat­ing, the tar­get mar­kets you should be iden­ti­fy­ing, and the medi­ums most appro­pri­ate through which to reach your audience.

  • Launch­ing a new brand can be a daunt­ing prospect. How do you make the most of this key moment in your company’s life­cy­cle? Our brand launch process is two-fold: first, we plan the launch, ensur­ing no stone is unturned. Then we sup­port you to imple­ment the launch at the pre­cise moment that it will gen­er­ate max­i­mum exposure.

  • Your com­pa­ny should have a per­son­al­i­ty and a per­spec­tive. With­out it, how can your audi­ence affil­i­ate with you? Brand­ing is visu­als and aes­thet­ics, but behind these are a set of prin­ci­ples that guide your company’s voice, the words it uses, its style, and its tone. Our brand voice work­shops are per­fect for estab­lish­ing all the com­mu­nica­tive aspect of your brand.

  • The best brands have a plan, goals, aspi­ra­tions, and an under­stand­ing of how to reach them. This starts with a mis­sion state­ment and a set of val­ues — the guid­ing prin­ci­ples of the com­pa­ny, if you will. Mis­sion and vision have such a mon­u­men­tal impact on a brand because they are what sets the tone for every­thing that comes after. They’re also noto­ri­ous­ly hard to get right. Take the heavy-lift­ing out of estab­lish­ing your mis­sion and vision by allow­ing us to do it for you.

Design kit

  • Any mate­ri­als that sup­port the sales process are mar­ket­ing col­lat­er­al. Think brochures, dis­plays, mag­a­zines, cof­fee table books, direct mail, web­sites, social media con­tent, blog posts, and white papers. Our design­ers are experts at cre­at­ing mate­ri­als that tell a sup­port­ing nar­ra­tive for your sales ambitions.

  • Explain­ing your new web­site, CMS, or app is dif­fi­cult to do in words. Cre­at­ing them with­out first explor­ing all the pos­si­bil­i­ties is expen­sive. Pro­to­typ­ing is a hap­py medi­um — a halfway house between that ini­tial idea and the ful­ly com­plet­ed prod­uct. Our design­ers can cre­ate inter­ac­tive pro­to­types that will act just like the real thing, but with­out the require­ment to build the whole expe­ri­ence. It lets you visu­al­ly under­stand a prod­uct, bring a devel­op­er up-to-speed on exact­ly what you need, or act as a proof of con­cept before going the whole hog.

  • User inter­face (UI) and user expe­ri­ence (UX) design are the back­bone of dig­i­tal design. Togeth­er, they are used through­out all aspects of a dig­i­tal product’s devel­op­ment, usabil­i­ty, and func­tion. With­out these clear­ly defined, a dig­i­tal prod­uct may end up being too com­pli­cat­ed to use, or miss out on key fea­tures that the user expects. They also ensure that dig­i­tal norms, such as nav­i­ga­tion, are imple­ment­ed in a way that a user would expect. Our UI and UX design process ensures you miss noth­ing out.

  • Need some­thing design­ing for the screen? Social media con­tent? Inter­ac­tive doc­u­ments? Entire web­site? Ful­ly inter­ac­tive app for iOS or Android? Our dig­i­tal design­ers can cre­ate pix­el per­fect expe­ri­ences and mate­ri­als that will wow your audi­ence, clear­ly com­mu­ni­cate your mar­ket­ing goals, or reach new audiences.

  • Print is not dead. In fact, as more and more of our lives move into the dig­i­tal realm, there is a cer­tain serendip­i­ty to receiv­ing some­thing in tra­di­tion­al print. Our design­ers are well-versed in what works best when it comes to print, from the mate­ri­als that should be used to the way a piece should be presented.

  • Part art, part sci­ence, ani­ma­tion and motion make any design sing. Our ani­ma­tion design­ers have a keen sense of the physics of move­ment, and an eye for beau­ti­ful design, and can lift any piece to the next level.

  • Need some­thing pol­ish­ing up? Have an old piece of mar­ket­ing that could do with a revamp? Have a col­lec­tion of assets that require some love and atten­tion? Art­work­ing is the bedrock of sound design, and we just love tak­ing ele­ments and cre­at­ing some­thing excep­tion­al from them. From typog­ra­phy to colour to pho­tog­ra­phy to entire doc­u­ments, we’ve got you covered.

Devel­op­ment kit

  • A web­site with­out a way to update it is a pret­ty sad state of affairs; for­ev­er it will look and say the same things. That isn’t any way to treat a web­site! Our web­site devel­op­ment comes with a ful­ly inte­grat­ed con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem built using Craft CMS. Craft is a ful­ly cus­tomis­able sys­tem that pro­vides design­ers and devel­op­ers the max­i­mum flex­i­bil­i­ty to build a web­site that is bespoke to you, but also with an ease-of-use that is unpar­al­leled by any of the oth­er options avail­able. You won’t need to know any code, you’ll just be able to get on with main­tain­ing your web­site the way you want to do it. Magic.

  • If you’re get­ting a new web­site, not only do you want to know that it’s going to look great, but also that it works effi­cient­ly too. Rather than use mul­ti­ple dif­fer­ent ser­vices to build your web­site, work with us, as we can design, build, devel­op, and launch your web­site all under one roof. Our devel­op­ers and design­ers work in lock­step to cre­ate dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences that won’t look like just anoth­er iden­tik­it, off-the-shelf template.

  • So, you’ve got your web­site designed and built, but now what? Do you now need an under­stand­ing of host­ing to get it up and run­ning? Not at all! Our deploy­ment process will get your dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence online in a flash. It con­tin­u­ous­ly mon­i­tors and updates to ensure it nev­er goes down, it can be scaled in the future if required, and it hunts down any bugs or oth­er nasty sur­pris­es before they become a prob­lem. We work close­ly with Dig­i­tal Ocean to ensure your web­site, app, intranet, or dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence is in tip-top con­di­tion 247.

  • Not sure if your cur­rent web­site or app is work­ing as well as it should? Allow us to run A/B test­ing on your dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence, to eke out those areas where con­ver­sions could be improved, drop-offs could be pre­vent­ed, or engage­ment could be improved.

Just 4 Steps

  • 1 Dis­cov­ery

    First­ly, we gath­er as much infor­ma­tion and evi­dence as we pos­si­bly can. This is the most impor­tant step in the process as it gives us the infor­ma­tion we need to start mak­ing deci­sions about what is best for your brand.

  • 2 Insight

    Once our research is com­plete, we then prove whether our ideas will work or not by shar­ing them with your employ­ees, your cus­tomers, and your stake­hold­ers and ask­ing them to pro­vide feed­back. Based on what they say, we either press on, or we go back and refine. Noth­ing gets past this point until we know it’s going to work.

  • 3 Ideation

    Next up, we take all the evi­dence we’ve gath­ered and start to form con­cepts for how your brand could be built. You choose the one that works best for you.

  • 4 Deliv­ery

    Then, and only then, do we start to build your brand. The process is the same for new and refreshed brands alike, for new com­pa­nies or exist­ing com­pa­nies. One process, all based on evi­dence, deliv­ered by design­ers and devel­op­ers with decades of expe­ri­ence. Let’s get cracking.

Mar­ket­ing is ask­ing some­body on a date. Brand­ing is the rea­son they say yes.

Ryan Tay­lor — Umlaut

So, what is this brand­ing malarkey anyway?

The pow­er of branding

So you’re not sure if you need a brand build­ing? Well ask no more, the answer is undoubt­ed­ly yes.

Once upon a time, all you had to do was slap a logo on a busi­ness card and you could call it done, but these days your brand is every­thing: it’s what sets you apart, it’s what gets you noticed, it’s what deter­mines how your com­pa­ny looks and how it acts, it’s how you inter­act with your cus­tomers, it’s how you answer the phones or write email, it’s what you put on a uni­form, your web­site, or the side of your vans, and it’s how you’re per­ceived by your cus­tomers, your com­pe­ti­tion and your industry.

Not much then.

So yes, it’s absolute­ly about superb design, about beau­ti­ful logos and com­pelling mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als, but it’s also the back­bone of your busi­ness and the log­ic behind why your com­pa­ny exists. Equal parts art and sci­ence. And these days, it’s pret­ty much non-negotiable.

Exper­tise, nor assumptions

Design­ing with facts, not fiction

If you’re going to put your pre­cious com­pa­ny and its brand in the hands of a design­er, then you’re going to want to be cer­tain that they actu­al­ly know what they’re doing.

You see, plen­ty of design­ers like to think they have a doc­tor-patient rela­tion­ship with their clients, where­by they diag­nose a prob­lem and pro­vide a solu­tion, with­out any input from the client, cus­tomers, or com­pe­ti­tion. They know best, you see, so why would they need input from any­body else?

We think that’s bollocks.

If you’re going to build a brand like that, then you may as well put all your prof­its on black or let a tarot read­er define your five year plan. 

Instead, we base all our design deci­sions on evi­dence. It means that you’re pay­ing for our exper­tise, not our assump­tions. Every deci­sion we take, every move we make (there’s a song in there some­where), can always be traced back to a piece of evi­dence, analy­sis, or mar­ket research, because we believe that the best designs, indeed the best brands, are built on the back of sound deci­sions, not ones made up on the back of a fag pack­et. Cou­ple that with beau­ti­ful look­ing design aes­thet­ics and a sound strat­e­gy, and you’re onto a winner.

Wel­come to Umlaut

Umlaut is a team of design­ers, devel­op­ers, and cre­atives that has a pas­sion for busi­ness­es and the peo­ple that run them. We appre­ci­ate that your com­pa­ny is a pre­cious thing, so it’s always an hon­our when busi­ness own­ers place their faith in us, and give us the oppor­tu­ni­ty to cre­ate and build brands that have the poten­tial to change lives, increase pros­per­i­ty, and add to the fab­ric of society.

We use an evi­dence-based approach to design, bring­ing brand strat­e­gy and graph­ic design togeth­er to cre­ate beau­ti­ful, well-oiled brands that will stand the test of time, increase brand aware­ness, and sup­port all your busi­ness goals and aspirations.

Most impor­tant­ly though, we’re an uncom­pli­cat­ed team, orig­i­nal­ly hail­ing from the foothills of the Pen­nines — if there’s one thing York­shire folk are known for more than any­thing, it’s their hon­esty, integri­ty, and direct approach. There’s no jar­gon or bull­shit­ting with us — just good hon­est design that gets results. We can’t wait to meet you.

Let’s work together.

Let’s have a chat about your project.

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