Interior design of the future
The Design Partnership was founded in 1991 to address the joint requirements of architecture and retail design. The company has since extended its services to include “Brandertising™”, which is a combination of branding and advertising.
Co-founder Callie van der Merwe explains that advertising is changing. Companies are looking for new ways to draw attention to their brand, and to communicate the value of that brand to the audience they have already captured. The Design Partnership understands the fine line between design disciplines, and incorporates those principles to create the most appropriate message, which one only allows their clients to stand out from their competitors, but also attract their target audience.
Brandertising may well change companies’ approach to interior design. It centres around portraying a message through design, and using visual clues to increase commitment to the brand. Attention is given in detail to every aspect, from maximizing the flow (and thus ezposure to the maximum amount of products) to the texture on the walls and the cutlery used. These elements on their on do not have the same significant impact as they do when combined, which is why it is important to strike a balance. In the end, it has to communicate the brand visually.
Callie says over-branding is common as well. “There is no authenticity in repeating the brand in various aspects and as often as possible.” Often a new brand is developed around another already established and trusted brand, and the cross-pollination of ideas establishes a visual brand.
Their biggest challenge is to understand the brand and interpret the clients’ brief. The idea is to allow the brand to evolve and create its own identity.
The Design Partnership’s list of clients include Mugg & Bean, Siemens, Babcock, Doppio Zero, Softline and the Edcon Group, and they have worked on projects in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Greece.
“We love all our projects. We won’t do something if we don’t believe in it or for that matter don’t like it,” concludes Callie.
Originally appeared in African Connexion Magazine 2007