Mark Rowden web development.

100% authentic brands

Turning your identity into an authentic brand

Few products, individuals or organisations reach the status of an authentic brand. Until that pivotal point is reached you are an identity looking to become something more. You may have a well-known corporate identity, but this visual identity may still be missing the opportunities that true, absolute, brand status offers. How much of your potential are you achieving? Less than 50%? Or is it 100%? It's worth asking the question.

Working alongside brands that are already successful, as well as designing and focusing the visual identities of hundreds of business start-ups has allowed me to observe at first-hand the essential elements that determine success. I have acted as a graphic designer, writer, and art director for all sizes of projects — from the kitchen table to the global – and in virtually all business sectors.

In my experience, the few who ‘get it right’ tick certain crucial boxes. Some requirements are always essential, but it is these more illusive requirements we must work upon — which takes intelligence on your behalf and more than a little guts too. Because you have to question yourself deeply, remain shockproof and root out the limiting factors.

This isn't a dull process. It's energising and fun.

In fact, if it isn't fun, then this is an indication that the wrong path is being taken.

The Juice

This is what I deliver

Here are some design elements that I have originated or been asked to improve from an existing design.

I'm a typographic and graphic designer conversant with all traditional and current graphic communication skills. As well as creating appropriate graphic and written messages, I have a successful track record of naming strategies, and a liking for sensitively chairing creative meetings — in fact the evaluation and editing of everything you ‘show, tell and do’.

My clients enjoy complete confidentiality. My interventions are often anonymous. I tend to keep a low profile – because it helps productivity. I rarely publicise my contributions, even when permitted to do so.

  • Flitwick Manor identity, logo, brand
  • CADCentre logo, Cambridge
  • Farming Online FOL logo design
  • Stray Dogs logo design
  • Shell Oils digital logo redraw
  • Art Council, art at heart campaign design strategy
  • HGCA graphical identity guidelines
  • Cambridge Asia Pacific logo design
  • IXI Corp logo design and guidelines
  • OCEAC logo design
  • AVEVA corporate identity programme
  • ATT Papworth corporate identity design
  • Garfield the Cat innovations and european launch
  • Yogagroov branding, name invention and graphics
  • Chamberlain corporate identity and branding
  • Spendor Audio Systems branding product communications
  • Pies Puds Tarts logo design graphics websites
  • What would Senna do? campaign and concepts
  • The Real Knightsbridge branding
  • Spectreview identity and graphical design concepts

A small sample of previous clients and projects.

  • VW interactive multimedia graphics
  • Hertz graphic communications
  • Titleist graphics and advertising
  • Arts Council graphics
  • Philips corporate identity work
  • GSK Biologicals graphics and literature
  • AT&T ISTEL corporate identity guidelines
  • Ciba-Geigy full service graphic design service
  • Fido Dido UK launch
  • Bristol Myers Squibb training materials
  • Hodder paperback book launches
  • Beano and Dandy UK launch gift industry
  • Audiolab identity and branding
  • Euler Hermes graphics
  • BayerCare graphics and training materials
  • Novo Nordisk graphics
  • Simon Engineering full service graphics
  • Smallworld identity
  • BayerCare graphics training materials
  • Celsys identity
  • Portfolio Design Consultants
  • Trofeo automotive
  • Iles Property
  • The Power of Inspirational Breathing
  • Ocello name and branding, Netherlands

Book Reviews

Mark Rowden book

‘Rowden creates the justification for every branding decision you have ever made or ever will make.’

Marketing [magazine]

‘For those serious about addressing their organisation's identity and making it an asset that adds real value, Rowden has delivered another comprehensive and compelling book that will get you thinking and guide you through all the issues involved in integrating and implementing an identity.’

The Chartered Insitute of Marketing

‘25 Years of Design’was a limited edition celebratory publication issued in 2007.
‘Design Master Class’ is available only on design training events.


Does the chemistry work?

You need a creative person you can trust; someone who ‘knows how’ with contacts to match || You may be in the planning stage of your project or find yourself mid-stride || You may be leading a multi-national, or a government department, or a start-up || You want direct intervention — or you want a discreet observer and advisor who adds to your power || You like style but you distrust frippery || You want to find the right answers — and you're not afraid of finding those answers || You want to meet or discuss without going through layers of staff || You want no obligations unless you say so, because feeling under control is important to you || You want someone who will never pester you — but you do want a reasonable amount of mind-reading; someone who can say no as well as yes, catch the ball and field your own creativity || You want someone who believes in and is committed to your cause, and knows the cause comes before anyone's errant ego.

‘To live outside the law
you need to be honest’
— Bob Dylan

Availability: currently scheduling new projects for June 2015.

Free identity and brand evaluation

A snap-shot response, whereby you send a link (or a concept via email attachment) and I will respond from the evidence of these minimal elements alone

Though obviously not an indepth piece of research, this can often prove just as profound. This is for two reasons: first, my history of evaluation and constructive feedback (it's my job) and, second, a useful lack of familiarity with your project. In other words, objectivity akin to your existing or potential clients, who typically fixate on their immediate impressions of trust or lack of, interest or rejection – and so on. And, come to think of it, there is a third reason: I enjoy the exercise. The only restriction is demand and availability, and that this is a one-off service. That said, I promise to respond to all genuine enquiries. Typical response time: 7 days. But who knows? You might catch me on a tea break, or an idle 15-minute interlude.

‘Work isn't to make money;
you work to justify life’
— Marc Chagall


Illustration, below:
This shows a small segment of the ‘Cambridge Phenomenon’ (A seminal publication by Segal Quince Wicksteed). Way back in 1983 I was commissioned to design the family tree, which charts the exceptional growth of high technology companies clustered in and around the city of Cambridge, UK — also known as ‘ Silicon Fen’. © Segal Quince Wicksteed