Otherway's Refresh of Morphy Richards Showcases The Brand's Dual Characteristics
by Rudy Sanchez on 04/14/2022 | 3 Minute Read
Morphy Richards is a British-based home appliance brand founded in 1936. During that time, the brand expanded its business globally, but even with decades of growth, they found that their identity was no longer clear and cohesive across their worldwide operations. They decided a rebrand was in order and went to creative agency Otherway to realign its branding and identity.
“Morphy Richards is historically a British brand that over the years has grown globally. As this growth happened, the brand's meaning became inconsistent across markets,” said Jono Holt, founder of Otherway. “From the UK, China, to Australia, what Morphy Richards stood for became diluted, and as a result, there was no longer a clear and consistent message. The brief to us was to find the brand's point of view on the world again, relaunch the business, and make it more relevant to a new generation of consumers.”
At the core of Morphy Richards’ new brand identity is the idea of “Happiness Engineered,” a partnership between form and function inspired by the founder duo of Donal Morphy, a product engineer, and Charles Richard, a salesperson. This balance between engineering and design is seen in the new wordmark, formed using two new typefaces, Morphy and Richards, which they designed with lettering artist Alec Tear. The symmetry and precise forms of Morphy exhibit the brand’s engineering side, while the up-sloped ends and round shapes of Richards express the flair and stage presence of a captivating salesperson.
“It’s not often that you can find an idea for a brand that is so genuinely true to its legacy and relevant for its future,” Holt said. “‘Happiness Engineered’ is such a simple idea that it’s very clear how it can be followed across every channel. The contradictions in the brand set the brief for everything to follow, from the tone of voice, packaging, and product design. It’s embracing the contradiction of ‘Happiness Engineered’ to deliver both sides of the argument. The Morphy and the Richards. The happiness and the engineering. The emotional and the rational.”
You can also find this “Happiness Engineered” balance between form and function in the packaging. The boxes display a split between a product photograph and a technical-looking line illustration, and features and benefits get explained using figures and analogies on the box. Half the boxes are white, the other half a lovely blue, while the top interior flaps feature the same technical-looking illustrations on one side and playful images by Alec Doherty on the other flap.
“Morphy Richards’ ambition is a fundamental change. As a result, everything was on the table,” Jono said. “The new wordmark is designed to capture the positive tension that has always sat at the heart of the business. The engineer and the salesman. The right brain and the left brain. The rational and the emotional. This juxtaposition of two personalities gets represented in the differentiated fonts that unexpectedly work harmoniously.”
Outstanding partnerships are often the result of members having complementary yet contrasting characteristics, filling gaps, and making the sum greater than just an individual or single part. Otherway’s refresh of the legacy British brand Morphy Richards deftly communicates the form and function sides of the brand, telling consumers that its products satisfy the need for quality products that also look good and are pleasant to use.