Founded in 1936, electrical appliances brand Morphy Richards has been a staple of many British homes for the best part of 100 years. Yet its brand vision hadn’t necessarily translated as it expanded around the world.
“Morphy Richards is historically a British brand that over the years has grown globally. As this growth happened, the meaning of the brand became inconsistent across markets. From the UK, to China, to Australia, what Morphy Richards stood for became diluted and as a result there was no longer a clear and consistent message,” explains Otherway founder Jono Holt.
Tasked with helping the business “see fundamental change”, Otherway set about identifying the brand’s point of view on the world and making it relevant to a new generation of consumers.
The radical change that Morphy Richards was after meant that “everything was on the table”, Holt says – including its wordmark. The old bubbly wordmark will have been incredibly familiar to British households, so the new iteration marks a clear fork in the road – not least because it uses two different lettering styles, crafted with the help of lettering artist Alec Tear. This plays into the idea at the heart of the new branding that centres on its two founders, product engineer Donal Morphy and salesman Charles Richards, whose personalities informed the mix of a clean sans-serif and the playful serif in the new wordmark.
“The new wordmark is designed to capture the positive tension that has always sat at the heart of the business,” Holt explains. “The engineer and the salesman. The right brain and the left brain. The rational and the emotional. This juxtaposition of two personalities is represented in the differentiated fonts but somehow work in harmony.”
Those contrasts are at the heart of the new brand concept, Happiness Engineered, and play out across the wider identity as well as the packaging design, which blends technical drawings with product imagery.
“It’s not often that you can find an idea to a brand that is so genuinely true to their legacy but also relevant for the future. Happiness Engineered is such a simple idea it becomes very clear to see how it can be followed across every channel. The contradictions in the brand therefore set the brief for everything to follow. From tone of voice to packaging to product design,” Holt says.
A set of illustrations has also been created by Alec Doherty, which Holt says will “run across the whole brand and are key to bringing Morphy Richards’ personality to life”, from online environments to packaging. He says “they have a lovely British character to them. A sense of humour.” The lifestyle photography has been given a stylish update in terms of art direction, too.
As our homes are set to remain a place of both work and play for many people, balancing feeling and functionality seems like a proposition that’s fit for the future.