With a rich heritage in one of Britain’s oldest industries, Sheffield Forgemasters has transitioned through iconic names such as Firth Brown and British Steel. It now makes some of the largest and most complex cast and forged steel components in the world. Navies, nuclear power stations and offshore platforms are among its high-profile customers.

The business uses the latest techniques and equipment and innovates continuously, but its branding was not as modern as it wanted. The challenge was to introduce a vibrant new look and identity, one that offered clarity and purpose but still reflected the proud sense of history.

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Why Aspire Creative was appointed

Sheffield Forgemasters went through about 20 proposals, many from much bigger agencies than our own. However, we were selected to move forward, thanks to some key factors:

  • They liked our approach and ideas to address the branding and move it on sensitively.
  • Being based in Sheffield, we understand the importance of steel to the city and its vital role in the globe’s major construction projects. We also know people who have worked in the industry.
  • We formed strong personal relationships during the initial meetings. We “got” them, and they “got” us.
  • We were able to operate within budget and deliver on the desired timescales.
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Innovation Through Integrity

We established this new strapline for Sheffield Forgemasters, one that sounds solid and personal, and reaffirms modern thinking while acknowledging hundreds of years of experience.

It enabled us to develop a new brand and identity guidebook, from which we could bring new clarity and purpose to all the company’s marketing collateral.

Where previously there was a tangle of information, a consequence, perhaps, of layering decades of business restructures and changing practises, we removed the noise and brought singular clarity.

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Our work across the board

Once the branding and identity were agreed, we set about producing new material across the business, including creative design, SEO research, web design and development, copywriting, photography and print.

We enjoy working collaboratively with clients, and in this case, we trained our Sheffield Forgemasters contacts in the use of Adobe XD software, so they could see our work in progress and feel a real part of the redesign process. It led to a richer client/supplier relationship.

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The Sheffield Forgemasters website needed overhauling to make it simple, user-friendly and fully responsive. We updated all photography and graphics to reflect a vibrant, modern business. First, we undertook a complete SEO study of its site and competitor analysis to understand where visitors were coming from and why.

The best keywords were discovered, tracked and then mapped to the correct website pages. The SEO process will continue as part of an ongoing monitoring process.

On the technical side, we were able to adapt and work with the client’s existing website CMS, making things simpler for them moving forward and almost certainly saving them money.

Downloadable brochure

For visitors and potential customers who want to “take something away” from the website, we designed, wrote and produced a 44-page downloadable brochure featuring all the client’s capabilities and services.

Other branded work

We moved seamlessly across many areas of operation, from producing icon sets and new business cards to new exhibition stand displays and email signatures. And we’ve left the business with a complete set of brand guidelines and a guidebook to follow, ensuring consistency in the use of design and messaging across the board.

Thanks for all the effort to you and the team and for putting up with the lastminute.com approach. The site looks brilliant!!

John Hunter, Marketing Manager, Sheffield Forgemasters
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