Regent Inns – R.I.P.
Monday, September 13, 2010

It's always a sad day for me when I discover a brand that I helped create no longer exists, particularly as so much of the work as a brand identity designer generally goes unrealised. There are many more brand identity projects in my concept section than in my live work section on this website. And, many that have not yet been launched or that are subject to Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs).  

Brand consulting is a complex business at the best of times. When an identity goes live it is usually as a result of a whole string of doors opening up for an extremely limited time under exceptional circumstances. And so, I savour (and celebrate) each and every identity that gets given an opportunity to lead a brand experience.  

Earlier this year I did a routine check on the brands I've created and was disappointed to learn that Regent Inns PLC entered into administration on the 22 October 2009.

Although I can't claim full authorship of this brand I can claim to have conceived of, and to have designed, the visual identity – supported and encouraged by my then Design Director, Chris Scherer. Regent Inns was a client of Dragon Brands that had a very good reputation in the city as a holding company for a few well-known pubs and other young person's entertainment venues such as Bar Risa, Walkabouts and Jongeleurs.

It should be noted that the branding as I imagined it was never fully realised. Long before dynamic identities were commonplace I intended for the bars (a rebus pun) to scale up and down and stretch and compress, and generally behave youthfully and vibrantly, led by “Brighter Ideas” as the main brand-idea.  

Due to the general lack of disposable income during the recession leisure-oriented businesses performed poorly and Regent Inns was forced to go into administration after failed attempts to sell the business. Perhaps if the brand behaved as we intended it would have been predisposed to finding those “Brighter Ideas”. But, then again, it may not be possible to argue against the harsh economic reality, no matter how clever the ideas underpinning the business. 

Regent Inns was listed on the London Stock Exchange and carried the branding I designed between the years 2001-2009. Click on the brandmark above to view this project in my portfolio on this website.