Archives for July 2022

26th July 2022

Brand: Sound and Vision

Multi-sensory dimensions

There are precise sounds to the platforms and the tools we use every day, the whoosh of the sent email. The incoming ping. The click of the lock on your smartphone. These sounds are carefully created to reach right into the core of your consciousness to embed themselves as signals of activity that demand your attention. And they work– ‘Drop everything’. ‘Pay attention’. ‘Look over here’.

Like all things, the good and the catchy ones stay with you, and the intrusive or alarming ones fail or flounder. Remember the depth charge on the BlackBerry… indeed what happened to BlackBerry?

But what if we went further than the functionality alone. We can explore how a brand might sound. We know what it looks like, even how it animates, moves, and speaks when scrolling through a webpage or listening to a podcast. But what might a brand feel like to the touch? What might it smell like if we were to visit? What might it be if it were item of clothing?

As we move away from business cards and books, what is the opportunity for the remaining pieces of tactile collateral? Can it play a part in a wider role?

The 'new' office 

There is an opportunity for the office to be more special and for the objects around you at home (that relate to your work) to be more representative of your brand.  Coolly minimalist, white and steel interiors. 'Oh, you must work for Apple'. Wood and bamboo? 'Are you with Aesop or Hermes or LVMH?'  What might laser-cut recycled metal or 3-D printed objects say? Maybe you’re in manufacturing, in F1, or you’re interested in tech and work for a SaaS.

And about the objects that surround you. What are their codes? Oxygenating plants, we’re a lifestyle business. Books, we’re thinkers. LP’s, we’re in media. Old computer’s, we love tech. What do these treasures at the back of your video call say about you, how you want to be perceived and the kind of person you are. They all matter.

And how might your brand smell? We know of a famous designer who won a contract for a luxury hotel not by adding more rooms or a swimming pool in the basement, but by creating a fragrance for the whole chain. Genius. So, when, on the (rare) occasion, someone visits your office for an actual meeting, think about how to make it memorable. What might the scent in the meeting room be. Is it bespoke? Did you commission it?

And think about the spaces you occupy too. Build an office around a kitchen. What kind of coffee. What handwash in the bathroom. Fruit or candy. Free bagels or free croissants. Have a library. What kind of books? All these choices send signals about who you are. What company you keep. How you behave and what you will be like to work with?

Ties or no ties. Trainers and sweatshirts or shirtsleeves and loafers. It all matters, especially as the war for talent hots up. So, next time you think about your brand, add a physical and multi-sensory expression dimension.

Beyond the brand

Take a moment to think about the brand you are and the brand you want to be. And stretch that idea of brand beyond the channels of social media and emailers (important though they are) to think about the tangible perception you want to leave behind. Premium brands do. Maybe now, in this time of new normal, it’s time for every brand to think about the impression it wants to make beyond both visual and verbal expression.

Let’s be remembered for every aspect, across every touchpoint.


Written by: Jesse Swash, Co-Founder.

12th July 2022

Structure Summit 2022

There has been much discussion about what the return to work might look like post lockdown and following the call from the PM to get back to work–where he said people are “more productive, more energetic, more full of ideas [sic], when they are surrounded by other people”.

Having read the many articles written on the subject, there is somewhat of a divided opinion on how companies might manage the move back to the office. Some are enforcing a return to the office full-time, while others are embracing a remote workforce. Some companies are considering a four-day working week. So, the outcome of the current six-month pilot of 70 UK companies and 3,300 employees will be very interesting for many–something that felt like an unlikely concept just a few years ago.

The variation in how to work has been a huge topic of conversation for both the media and employers alike. And for companies who are open to having a discussion, and trying new ways of working, there will be benefits and challenges for both parties. For those who have chosen the path of remote working, or a hybrid model, the question remains, how do you maintain a sense of belonging, connection, and culture if people are not in the same place?

Design by Structure has faced those same challenges as a business. How we work changed during lockdown - that is tough for a creative business. We had just moved into our new office in Shoreditch a few weeks before the first lockdown, but like everyone else, we had to embrace the change. During the two-years of lockdown, we managed to thrive and grow, and we didn’t make redundancies or furlough anyone, in fact, we made some new hires to build our team.

The easing of restrictions and end of lockdown saw some of our team members jump straight into returning to the office, while others have been understandably more cautious. But the one thing we all agree on is that some of our best work comes when we are connected. For us at Structure, our sense of togetherness and team culture is so important. So, we decided to practice what we preach, embrace the new opportunities that remote working brings, and moved the whole office from Shoreditch to Seville for a week as part of our rewards programme for the year. If we could make it work from our homes, why not in another city!

Jetting to Seville

So, we set up our base in a co-working space (air-conditioned to the max) in the heart of sunny Seville and it was business as usual.

The benefits of this work trip were incredible, we got to see a city not from a tourist perspective but from working and being part of the city's working rhythm, such as the siestas shut down or grabbing lunch as locals do (we became big fans of empanadilla's). We stayed in accommodation dotted around the city so everyone could have their own experience of the city and working life.

Jamón everywhere!

This working week in Seville was about us, it gave us the chance for immersive in-person work sessions, setting aside time to get out of the day-to-day and discuss as a team the year ahead, opportunities to develop the business and workshops to chat through bigger and more long-term challenges and come to solutions. Our clients have been really supportive of our working trip, and we have noted that two of them are doing the same, so maybe we are part of a new movement?

As a creative business, it was incredible to be able to explore the creative culture the city has to offer–to inspire our creative process. In the evenings we dined out on some spectacular food and finished our Summit at one of Seville's most beautiful hotels with a company dinner.

As a branding agency, we discuss with our clients the importance of nurturing their brands, to think of them outside of simply the identity, but as something that adds value to their business. And so too, you must nurture and care for your team, the people who help you to build that brand and drive its success.

So, now we are talking about making our ‘Structure Summit’ an annual event, to recognise the value our team brings to the business and bring everyone together regularly in new ways and different cities – this allows us to ensure that recognition is truly lived and not just spoken about.

Dining at the Hotel Alfonso XIII

Was the trip a success for the business? Yes, it was, we bonded as a team and continued to deliver our client work. It was a fantastic experience for us as a team but also for us personally.

Finally, Seville is called the frying pan of Spain, and we now know why...we certainly could have done without the daily 40+-degree heat!!!


Walking the famous Seville mushrooms!