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Absolute Graphics (Cornwall) Ltd

Case Studies

Another Place Magazine

Client

Watergate Bay Hotel

Project Launch Date

February 2007

DBA Design Effectiveness Award Winner

Design Disciplines

  • Branding
  • Graphic

Industry Sector

  • Leisure
  • Tourism

Summary

'Another Place' is an annual, magazine-style brochure for The Hotel and Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay. During brainstorming, it became clear that something over and above 'just another hotel brochure' (with all the usual high-quality photography) was needed to capture accurately the hotel's unique personality.

Problem

The challenge was multi-faceted: to change people’s perceptions of a Cornish holiday experience, to somehow communicate what the hotel stands for while simultaneously showing how it had changed, to make it stand out from the crowd and - of course - to help create a year-round destination.

Approach

Traditional hotel brochures tell a simple story in one way (“here are the rooms, this is the view, these are the facilities”); Absolute wanted to differentiate this hotel from its competitors and to create a compelling message for a new audience. The aim was, therefore, to emphasise the experience rather than the facilities and, because we wanted to convey an aspirational element, we needed a platform capable of communicating lots of different messages in more than one way. This was why we decided to create a magazine, with all the nuances of tone and variations in content that implies.

Result

The main achievement of 'Another Place' has been to transform how the hotel is both perceived and used by visitors. This principal, over-riding change has prompted a stream of benefits: to the business’s bottom line, to its year-round viability, to the hotel’s profile, to the entire culture of Cornish holidays.

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Frugi

Client

Cut4Cloth

Project Launch Date

January 2008

DBA Design Effectiveness Award Winner

Industry Sector

  • Fashion
  • Retail

Summary

Absolute undertook a complete re-brand of Cut4Cloth; this included a new name and strategic positioning, as well as corporate identity design, including sub-brands and a tone of voice palette. Communications tools were also developed, including a website (welovefrugi.com) and packaging.

Problem

Cut4Cloth sold organic clothes for newborns to four-year-olds. Domestic and international market opportunities, however, depended on increasing the company’s competitive advantage and expanding the product range to attract higher-end spenders. The existing name was so specific to one of their product lines it was obvious it needed to be changed.

Approach

The first task was to help the company find a new name that would help it to express its core values and personality, without restricting its future direction. Absolute instigated its ‘name game’ process before investigating more dynamic and effective alternatives. This clear, measurable, objective procedure resulted in ‘Frugi’ (Latin for ‘fruits of the Earth’).

Result

Post-rebrand, turnover rocketed from £546K to £942K, a £12K loss was turned into a £41K profit, and international business is now 64% of the company’s turnover*, selling to 230 shops within the UK and in 33 countries worldwide. This was all done without compromising quality or, importantly, ethics.

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Hotel Refurbishment and Brand

Client

St Moritz Hotel

Project Launch Date

May 2008

Design Disciplines

  • Branding
  • Graphic
  • Interior

Industry Sector

  • Leisure
  • Tourism

Summary

Our role was to develop a complete interior design concept, as well as communication tools, for this brand new hotel luxury hotel which would include a branch of Cowshed spa.

Problem

The £13.5 million St. Moritz Hotel, situated above Daymer Bay in Trebetherick near Rock, was Cornwall's first purpose built, luxury hotel for over thirty years. Absolute's challenge was to provide a complete interiors package, as well as a website and suite of communication tools.

Approach

This project needed an approach combining a vibrant, contemporary style with an elegance and sophistication which would take luxury accommodation to a new level in Cornwall. The rooms and social areas needed to be clean and modern but, simultaneously, to blend lavish furniture and fittings with an unmistakably Cornish feel.

Absolute conducted thorough research and held brand workshops. As a result, the St. Moritz brand has been developed and applied successfully to all promotional materials as well as the website. Enjoying this amount of control over all elements allowed Absolute to deliver a consistent experience across interiors and communication.

Result

Bookings were high immediately after launch, and remained high. The St. Moritz has been consistently busy, even during the shoulder and winter months, which are traditionally difficult for south-west hotels. The hotel exceeded its own budgetary predictions by becoming profitable in year two, a year earlier than scheduled.

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Re-brand of a boutique Hotel

Client

The QueensBerry Hotel

Project Launch Date

September 2009

Design Disciplines

  • Branding
  • Graphic
  • Interior

Industry Sector

  • Leisure
  • Tourism

Summary

The Queensberry felt that while it already had location and, unarguably, high quality on its side - being an attractive townhouse hotel in Bath - it lacked distinctiveness, as expressed by both look and feel. In a very crowded market, its brand needed to be lifted and made instantly recognisable.

Problem

The Queensberry needed help developing a successful hotel and restaurant business, to take it to the next level. We tested the brand, evaluated its elements and applications, and asked relevant questions: were they talking effectively to their target audiences? Could they be more efficient? More profitable?

Approach

There was a strategy, but no tools with which to implement it. Absolute developed a range of communication tools: from brand identity through promotional devices all the way to, most importantly, the website. As its primary link to its clientèle, the site was crucial. Now, thanks to Absolute, its unique and quirky visual and verbal style captures perfectly the hotel's personality and the brand's essence, while speaking the right language and engaging with its readers.

Result

The project has been hugely successful. The whole brand has been refreshed and re-focused; this has begun to translate into an increase in spend and occupancy. With The Old Q Bar's recent re-launch, and the award of three AA rosettes to its restaurant, the Queensberry expects a record-breaking year.

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