When Neil first approached me, he was selling garden buildings as simply that. “Outsideology Garden Buildings”. This had come about from building observatories for homeowners, and a desire to appeal to a wider audience.
He wanted me to create a brand for him that would promote the benefits of his unique building methods, especially the way the buildings are completely insulated, keeping them at a constant temperature all year round.
I turned to the traditions of Japan for inspiration. The Japanese are known for their craftsmanship. They also have a long tradition of building in harmony with nature. In Japanese culture, traditional folk tales are common, so I wrote my own Japanese folktale to build the brand around: “a house of creativity, purpose and calm”. Kani means House in Japanese, but I also liked the British meaning of “canny” as having or showing shrewdness and good judgement. Like a nod to the technology behind the builds.
All the visuals are based on traditional Japanese prints and symbols. The Kani.House logo itself comprises the Japanese Flag, the crab, the island (Volcano) and the man with a topknot in the negative space of the crab. I have also added some references to the astronomical origins of the brand, with the logo being orbited by the moon as a red dot in the logo, and the stages of the build being reflected in moon phases.
The site is designed, not only as a brochure for the garden buildings, but also to communicate the ethos and concept behind KaniHouse. This is done through the use of bespoke brand artwork, created by Yazaroo. You can see more of this work in the Brand Design section of our work.
We continue to manage the brand:
“From the very start I was struck by the wisdom, care and passion with which Ed approached our project – and it was easy for us to place him in the driving seat with very few constraints: he’d taken the time to understand exactly what we were offering and knew we could trust him even if what he produced wasn’t anything like what we expected. As soon as we saw the outline concept, the light bulb came on – it was a fundamentally brilliant piece of brand design centred on the story at the heart of our business. Ed continues to work with us on an ongoing basis, and we have had fantastic feedback from those who’ve now come into contact with our beautiful branding. There is no question that it will have a huge and very positive impact on our business going forward.”
Neil Phillipson, Architect and Director of Kani.House