With more than 13 years experience working in the Manchester Graphic Design scene Louise Mora has an abundance of interesting and inspiring work to share. After working as a senior creative for Havas Lynx Louise decided to shift to a freelance basis, taking on new challenges which now include teaching on the part-time course at our #shilloman campus.
Today on the blog, Louise takes us through the trajectory of one of her favourite branding jobs for Manchester Burrito Bar, Changos. A designer’s dream branding project, it enabled Louise to exercise her love for pattern and colour as well as a chance to practice her problem solving to help Changos stand out within an increasingly growing market;
“Changos has been a real passion project of mine, a fully integrated brand roll out with complete involvement from start to finish, working with a great client and I can actually eat the end product. What more could a designer ask for?”
So how did you end up working on this project? Were you approached by the client directly?
I was approached several years ago by the client with a request to design the logo for a new Mexican Burrito bar looking to open in Manchester, at this point it was just the brain child of my client and we had no idea if it would actually be going ahead.
Did you have a clear idea for how you wanted the design to look at the beginning or was it something that developed over time?
I was given a very clear but open brief from the client and set to work creating 3 options on the logo and the brand direction. I started out talking at length with the client about the competition, the Mexican food market has really blown up in recent years, with many chains opening on the high street so we needed to make sure we stood out. All the routes were heavily influenced by Mexican references but, they all had a very different tone and feel. Once the final route had been selected and after some minor tweaks we had the start of the Changos brand. The brand consists of a collection of eclectic Mexican reference applied with a modern twist, utilising a flexible and bright colour palette, Aztec inspired patterns and halftone treated imagery.
By building up a good tool kit of assets I am able to keep the look fresh yet consistent. This also allows for flexibility when applying the brand to a whole range of materials.
Do you feel like you had full control over the project or was it a bit of give and take with the client?
I have been very fortunate, the client has always been very receptive to my ideas. I would say I have a lot of control over the Changos brand—this is due to building up a great relationship with the client from the start, listening with what they want and making sure I direct them to the right result, with that in mind.
How do you feel about the outcome of the project?
Off the back of an initial logo the Changos brand has been applied to all the print materials including advertising, menus, packaging, loyalty schemes, business documents, stationery etc. I have worked across all the digital assets from the website, social media and e-campaigns through to digital advertising and instore screens. There has also been the development of the interiors, working very closely with an interior design company, we applied the brand to the exterior signage and windows, the internal signage system, menus, seating, table and flooring designs and as well as additional decoration, everything had to be considered.
I am really pleased with the outcome, it has been a fantastic project to be involved with and even more so as I was there from the very start, the company has been going from strength to strength, long may it continue. I am very invested in this brand, it is great to feel such a connection as it only fuels the passion and creativity.
There’s a lot of colour and pattern present in the work, is this something you enjoy working with?
Yes I love working with colour and pattern, I really enjoy creating my own illustrations and patterns this adds to the flexibility of a project and adds an extra level of individuality.
Were you working alone or did you collaborate with any other creatives throughout the process?
I have mainly been working alone on this job, however I did work very closely with the graffiti artist, who was commissioned to design one of the interior walls, and the interior designers. This was great for me as it was a major learning curve and great to think about the design from another angle. As a designer it’s lovely to be able to stand in and sit on your designs.
Now that it’s finished is there anything you’d change about the design or any decisions you’d make differently second time around?
On the whole I am very happy with the design and the end result, the brand has been really well received. I think the main thing to do now is to keep reviewing what we do and what we put out there.
For the brand to grow we need to be constantly checking what works and what doesn’t. It is important to remain fresh without compromising the ethos of the brand.
What advice would you give to students who want to work in a freelance capacity?
Freelancing is great. When dealing with the client directly it pulls on many skills, you are not only the designer but the account manager, artworker, and production manager, so you need to be organised. I also can’t stress enough how important it is to build up a good relationship with your clients, when you earn their trust, it will lead to much better outcomes in the end.
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