Summix has been creating places to live, work & play in the UK and Ireland since 2006. They have seen for themselves the importance of listening and being genuinely collaborative, which has made them one of the UK and Ireland's leading master developers and regeneration specialists.
The vibrant communities they create are shaped and moulded by opinions and conversations with all stakeholders – from existing and future residents, to Local Authorities and Government. Their greatest satisfaction is from the feedback they get: when people tell them they love living in the places they create.
Summix is proud to have delivered thousands of new homes, student accommodation, employment and community centres in true mixed-use developments, to revitalize and unlock new parts of growing cities and towns.
They turned to SomeOne to create an entirely new strategic, visual, written and verbal brand system that better communicated the firms core approach and beliefs.
The UK has some of the strictest building planning rules in the world. These rules are designed to ensure that all new buildings are safe, sustainable, and in keeping with the local environment — all completely correct and understandable measures. However there is one added component that means very few plans become reality. Opinions.
Ever heard of a NIMBY? It stands for ‘Not In My Back Yard’ — and it’s a label given to people who object to developments that they feel — often completely justifiably — will negatively affect their homes and lives. They hold considerable power and can be the deciding factor when it comes to giving new ideas the permission to proceed.
Most developers try all sorts of approaches to avoid engaging with the very people who are likely to be most affected by the intended work needed to create new homes. Noise, road closures, changing landscapes and new neighbours all raise entirely reasonable concerns — but a blinkered approach to development rarely results in a successful outcome.
A NEW BREED
Summix is one of the new breed of UK firms that takes a radically different approach to enabling new property ideas to take hold. Rather than involving people at the very last minute in hope that they will not have the time to make any chance to halt proceedings, Summix opens conversations at the earliest opportunity.
AN APP GENERATED BRAND: POWERED BY LISTENING
With the core idea of ‘Listening today, creating tomorrow’ established — we set out to develop a visual identity that opened up a conversation about the most underrated skill in placemaking.
We looked at how people said the brand name — some put the emphasis on the ‘Sum’ — some liked to draw out the ‘ix’ — others went fast… it led us to see what would happen if you recorded many people saying Summix… how would the sound waves show up graphically? It turned out, they all looked very different — and it was this individualism that chimed with our desire to amplify how summit celebrated every persons opinion.
We took the sound waves and used them to generate a new bespoke series of brand assets via a new bespoke App we built. The App allows any speech to be converted into a pre-defined graphic theme. The peaks and troughs of speech are clearly seen in the pattern — and these then can merge with graphic depictions of the existing, and proposed architecture of the plan.
SOUND DIFFERENT / LOOK DIFFERENT
Most Placemaker brands veer between construction technicalities and seductive sales. Summix looks to show up as a brand ready to listen to all parties at all stages of a project. Taking a more iterative approach to the creative work needed before plans become concrete, steel, brick, glass and plaster — means the brand needs to be able adapt and change frequently. A local council looks for different things to a local pensioner. So a branding system was devised to enable rapid remixing of cohesive brand elements.