The Brand Identity

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PARSONS showcase confidence and restraint with their identity for creative services agency CADRE

CADRE is a creative services and talent agency that strategically connects brands with Black audiences. The meaning of their name, ‘a small specially trained group of people,’ played a role in the visual direction taken by Ireland-based design agency PARSONS who, in being commissioned to devise the company’s identity, landed on a strong, compact and considered typographic approach.

At the core of PARSONS’ solution is a condensed lowercase wordmark that represents the stature and structure of CADRE’s creative talent. “I tweaked Sharp Grotesk Bold so it just felt a little more architectural for the relationship between these particular letterforms,” Chief Creative Officer Craig Parsons recalls, adding that he “also updated the shoulder of the ‘r’” to make it feel “a little tighter.” The result is a monolithic mark which, alongside its supporting counterparts of Century Schoolbook and Neue Haas Unica, makes for a sophisticated combination of power and restraint.

In reference to CADRE’s process, PARSONS designed a series of symbols subtly constructed from the letter ‘C.’ The first of which is a circular mark inspired by the ‘Research’ phase of CADRE’s process, in which they look backwards, hence the flipped ‘C’ made up of three increasing tiers. The identity is topped off by its colour palette – bouncing between black, white, grey and pops of yellow. “The golden poppy colour needed to feel urban but at the same time optimistic,” Parsons explains, adding that they applied it sparingly in order to add energy to the identity without completely dominating accompanying imagery and messaging.

Typefaces: Sharp Grotesk (modified) by Sharp Type / Century Schoolbook by Bitstream / Neue Haas Unica by Linotype

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