We are an award-winning design and branding agency based in West London, founded in 2009 by our creative director David Kimpton. We cut our teeth in London’s best design agencies, but what we learned there taught us more than our craft. Kimpton was established because we believe that a more personal, more hands-on approach to client relationships and managing projects is more effective, and we wanted to ditch the unwieldy overheads. We offer pedigree branding and design expertise without the premium price tag.
David brings over thirty years’ experience to every project; he has a track record of over sixty creative awards (especially in transformation and brand effectiveness competitions), and experience with many hundreds of projects across all sectors, with clients ranging from start-ups to global brands and FT 100 companies. We believe in collaboration, integrity, caring, joie de vivre and audacity – audacity at its best, the kind that has the command and confidence to pull off, thrillingly, what no one else could or would even conceive of, and yet still, somehow, be utterly appropriate.
And, of course, we believe in change, which all of these things lead to.
We treasure the bonds we form with our clients.
About our services
Branding and design:
- Brand identity and guidelines
- Brand development
- Brand strategy
- Brand architecture
- Digital and social media
- PowerPoint templates
- Word templates
- Event/exhibition graphics
- Place strategy
- Place naming
- Place identity
- Marketing campaigns
- Digital and social media
- PowerPoint templates
- Word templates
- Event/exhibition graphics
- Promotional items
- Film production
- Content marketing
- Cultural institutions
- Professional services
- Sports and leisure
Here’s Eric Ken Shinseki: “If you dislike change, you’re going to dislike irrelevance even more.” He’s right. The truth is that we must change even to stay where we are, let alone progress: the world is reinvented every single day.
And if there’s no choice but to face that or be left behind… then we say make something brilliant of it. Don’t just move with change, initiate it, make it work in your favour. Relish it.
We love change. When we work with our clients, we collaborate with the clear aim of leaving everyone involved in a better place. We help you to be excited about what it can do for you. And when you yourselves are trying to change things, if, say, you have an idea for a better world, then so much the better. We’ve had such inspiring relationships with organisations of vision, from tackling groundbreaking architecture to saving orangutans to developing new energies to reinventing whole areas of London. Want to blaze a trail? Count us in.
About the power of branding
Branding has the power to shape change.
But only if it is done properly.
Forgive us for not taking for granted that you know the smaller details of what we do, but this is a discipline that is frequently misunderstood, even by people who work in it. “Branding” is frequently sold as “Branding”… when in truth it is no such thing. Understanding what branding (with us) can do, and how, is vital to knowing if we’ll be the right people to partner with.
Branding – genuine branding – is one of the most powerful (and overlooked) business tools there is. Done properly, its power to transform perceptions, feelings and behaviours can make it the catalyst for truly exciting progress. It is capable of helping turn a business strategy from wishful thinking into flourishing reality. It is the creative expression of a highly targeted piece of strategic thinking, crafted to exert influence at every single level that people interact with you and cared for on an ongoing basis like you’d care for your heart. It has the power to attract more talent, win you more clients, and even influence internal morale and decision-making.
It is not a random logo and a few colours bunged together in a superficial decoration job. It’s not something where you can afford to simply go through the motions. It is not even brilliant design… though it must, of course, encompass that. This is the crucible where success is forged. And the key to that success is a clear, targeted idea that sits at its heart of everything. You can be as highly crafted and beautiful as you like, but without that, you will come up short.
At our disposal to give that idea life are many things. Words. Colours. Fonts. Moving images. Illustration. Photography. Digital technology. Design – the puppetmaster that pulls all of these together. There is nothing random about what we do. Nothing. These things are all used with an end in mind. With us, at least, your brand will be meticulously assembled to help bring about the changes you want to see in your world.
Because when you combine all of the elements at your disposal in the right way, you can change perceptions. Change perceptions and you can change emotions. Change emotions and you change decisions and behaviour. You don’t need to be all things to all people. You need to reach the people you know have the power to make change happen for you. The director who can give the green light to a new relationship, the consumer who never considered you, the new talent who can go on and inspire your internal teams… if only they accept your job offer. That’s when it really counts. Change the decisions and behaviour of those people and you have some influence over the world.
Which is what makes it so exciting.
About choosing a branding agency
Cost-effectiveness, size, experience, creativity, chemistry… how to weigh up an agency to end up with the right one for your needs.
Brands built from the bottom up. Thought through and carefully directed to address objectives. Speaking to what really matters for audiences. Contributed to and with buy-in from all of the people who have to live, breathe and sell it. These are the brands that thrive. All of this takes time.
When we say that our prices are justifiable, it does not mean that they are cheap. They are substantially cheaper than the big central London agencies we came from. But you can pay less. Of course you can. Cut some corners. You can get an off-the shelf thing that someone has already banged out for someone else. You can get a rough scope of what you fancy with a few mood boards and take your chances with some tweaks to a prefabricated template. You can pay less for an identity that has no idea at its core, or doesn’t really get at what makes you special. You can.
But beware of false economies. A good brand will pay for itself in two ways. Firstly, as we said above, its power to engage with the right people in the right ways has the power to increase revenue: win you projects, new clients and better performance from employees. But secondly, a genuine brand lasts. We have created brands that some 20 years later are still going strong. In fact, the vast majority of the brands we have created are still live! This is value for money, because chance-it brands quickly fall apart under the pressures of time and change. They’re often irrelevant to their companies from the outset, signed off but ignored. They quickly feel wrong, they don’t support people and they’re scrapped within a couple of years.
Projects of appropriateness, integrity and effectiveness survive through time because at their heart they capture the essence of what matters. Ironically, while they have the power to change the world around them, they themselves acquire longevity. Powerfully rooted, they’re able to bend and adapt to whatever comes their way.
That’s our kind of brand.
So you can pay less, then, but you can also pay more, much more. Some clients feel ‘safe’ working with a big-scale organisation that has banks of people internally from all manner of disciplines, and rows of project managers behind them. That’s fine. But we’ve worked in such organisations. We know the pressures on time and budget caused by overheads. We know what client handlers mean for the bill. We’ve seen the creative director wheeled into meetings, never to clap eyes on a project again.
It’s not for us.
We’re not interested in huge volumes of work or constantly whirring tills, we’re interested in doing the right number of the right kind of projects with the right quality clients. We’re interested in living meaningful days, not factory farming ideas. We’re interested in relationships, in being connected to and invested in the people we’re working for.
So, our idea of ‘safe’ is to have a highly experienced, multiple award-winning creative director closely involved at all stages. It’s to have a brilliant core team, but access – though three decades of experience – to a network of top-drawer strategists, designers, illustrators, copywriters, photographers, filmmakers and so on. It’s being able to expand and contract according to the project and client. It’s the freedom to hand-pick the best and most appropriate people for each project, with no strait jacket. This is modern business. You don’t have to be big to work with big companies. You need to be smart.
When commissioning agencies, many organisations look for prior experience in that field. “What have you done in cosmetics?”, they might ask. It’s understandable that you would ask that. But beware of the copycat mindset that sets in across entire industries as a result. Everyone, like sheep, ends up looking the same. Fear sets in: no one dares commission an idea that bucks the trend. But the name of the game here is differentiation. When you have done your homework, being daring isn’t even a risk.
So, look instead for an agency that has the ability to ask the right questions, ones that hurt your head to answer. Look for the ability to get at the nub of a problem. Ask for companies to show you where they have stopped people in their tracks and brought about change. Ask them what has actually happened in the world as a result of their work.
Sector experience is irrelevant. What’s relevant is an understanding of the mechanics of change, the processes that take you to what really matters. Often, coming from outside a field may be exactly what’s required to see things afresh. We’ve tackled charity, property, finance, technology, religion, architecture, energy and health, to name a few. However niche you believe yourselves to be, we can tackle that too. Change keeps us all fresh.
This is tricky for a client to judge, because creativity comes in many forms. Designers can produce you a neat, well arranged look, and this is, unarguably, creative. But it’s not our kind of creative.
We aim to go further than this, which means craft is only part of it… and comes later, for us it’s the cherry on the cake. If it helps you judge what creativity is with reference to branding, here’s how we approach it ourselves. We seek out distinctiveness and traction in our designers and our thinking. We ask ourselves how our teams and our work can cut through the noise and the information overload. It takes a clear idea, well executed in every facet, to reach people, to matter to and stay with them. The idea around which all the visual elements are created is what will set you apart. Creativity is the ability to uncover that idea.
So, we’re always respectful of the situation, but never of the status quo. We’re always appropriate to our clients’ needs, but that rarely means safe, because you have to engage people emotionally. That’s the task. So, we look for fearless thinkers, because brilliantly calculated risks are the essence of meaningful change. We seek the very best of what it is to be audacious: to have the mastery of craft that allows you to conceive of and successfully execute things that no others would or could, and by doing so create the kind of thrill that changes hearts and minds.
He (or she) who dares, wins.
Last, but not least, chemistry matters. Trust your instincts. Time and life is too precious to spend it working with people to whom you are indifferent, especially if the option exists to avoid it. We come in to work to feel good. We like liking our clients. If you work with us, we’ll take your needs, challenges and success personally. It suits us to go into battle for you as if your company were our own, as if our jobs depended on it. Which, in a way, they do. We do it together, and with joie de vivre: it’s so much more rewarding for everyone.