The story of a two-man studio taking on a significant project for one of the world’s biggest brands. It’s only through reflection that I have begun to appreciate what we accomplished. We created the Vogue Arabia brand and we launched this new edition of Vogue somewhere it had never been before. This project mattered. And we succeeded.

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Part One.

This story has taken me a little time to tell. I’ve been busy working with other brands, but that’s not the reason. The truth is, I never truly appreciated the significance of my role in this project until recently, and it begins with how my agency, Bonne Marque, just a two-man design and writing partnership in Bulgaria, landed the massive branding and design project to launch a new edition of Vogue in Arabia. …


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Introducing Twotwentytwo

Twotwentytwo is a creative code studio based in Sweden, and I have worked with them from day one, helping the founders understand and form the personality of the brand and even providing the name of the company. In February 2018, they were ready to launch the Twotwentytwo website and social media — Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Medium — and I was responsible for putting a team together to help launch their new brand, share their portfolio of work, and build the brand values across social media.

I brought in Petya Panowa to oversee the social media accounts in the position of Social Media Manager. In her early twenties and a student of advertising, her on-the-pulse input would make a perfect companion to my knowledge of the Twotwentytwo brand, creative and advertising industry experience, and writing ability. In the early days, Instagram and Twitter were the channels designated to Petya. LinkedIn and Medium were mine. …


An on-fire three-month process that saw me team up with the San Diego guys to give the BASIC brand the digital presence it deserves with its fresh 2017 launch. This was about hitting the keywords and still expressing the unique BASIC attitude. All in all, the final word count — website copy and case studies — extended that of my most recent novel. A serious effort, a great result.

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People familiar with my writing know that I prefer to avoid statements like “we are a digital design agency” because it makes it too easy to sound like everyone else, which, in my opinion, is the death of creativity. It was important that BASIC included such phrases on its site though, so I experimented with form. By applying the dictionary definition style above — not overly original, but original enough in the ‘creative’ industry — I presented the overused terms in a new light. The best thing about this delivery is the confident redefinition of the word ‘BASIC.’ More than ever, the San Diego agency are taking ownership of this simple word with my writing. …


Created during summer 2016 alongside our work with Vogue Arabia and Conde Nast, the new portfolio of Alexander Engzell — Bonne Marque’s Founder and Executive Creative Director — stands as a perfect example of our bold and diverse creativity: design, video, development, photography, and, of course, writing. And this article is about my writing.

Between May 2015 and October 2017, every article and written interview in Alexander Engzell’s name was written by me. …


Bonne Marque has worked with the French legends, Antoine Wodniack and Jimmy Raheriarisoa, for years now. The developer/animator duo have played an important role in our work for half a decade and we have long considered them one of us. It was therefore very exciting to hear they were opening their own studio together, Waaark, for whom I was happy to write the English copy for their visually arresting new portfolio.

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Tone was the first thing we talked about. Antoine and Jimmy were well aware of ‘the Bonne Marque’ style, as they called it, and they made it clear several times that they didn’t want this 'in your face' bold tone for them. Because they had only experienced my writing through Bonne Marque, they weren’t aware I was more flexible than that, so I assured them that everything was going to be okay. …


The Involve Digital brand will never be the same after it invited full-on Bonne Marque madness into its life. They wanted a brand and website that stood up for itself against its boring competition, that wasn’t afraid to speak its mind in an industry in which this was rare, that embraced darkness and freedom.

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Our agency had full control over the Involve Digital rebrand, from their logo, branding guidelines and new portfolio. From the very beginning, Michael at Involve Digital wanted bold disruption, so mindful of the darkness through which we would be leading the visitors of the site, the homepage begins with a relatively straightforward brand statement, shown in the image above. …


Bonne Marque of 2015 vowed to never work with a client from the recruitment industry again, after a difficult experience. Although this was only half-sincere jesting — a strong stance after an impossible time — a degree of caution lingered when we were contacted by the recruitment agency, Hunter Farmer. But it was soon evident that this would be different.

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When a company called Hunter Farmer becomes your client, literal thinking is your friend, and it took no time at all for Alex and I realise this. Knowing we would attack this project with original artwork by our Senior Art Director, Ray Mendez, Alex began sketching and I began writing. Sure, Hunter Farmer composed its name using terms from the recruitment industry, but Alex and I were thinking bigger than that. This was about branding. …


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Freewrite is a distraction-free smart typewriter for serious writers, and they needed a website. Adam from Freewrite, who was blown away by the way in which Alexander Engzell and I reimagined the brand of Bonne Marque, wanted the Freewrite site complete within six weeks, so we had to get off to a strong start.

After discussing with Adam the key advantages of the Freewrite — and this would be our approach to segmenting the copy, one advantage at a time — we compiled a list and I went away with the express intention of focussing on the first advantage of the Freewrite and writing a paragraph to establish tone to present to Adam the following…


The ‘Born Makers’ era of Bonne Marque, created during our Summer 2015 rebrand and set to retire with the launch of our next portfolio in 2017, is deliberately confrontational and honest. This victory of art over business, of spirit over sense, and of truth over diplomacy are victories from which Bonne Marque has never looked back.

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My creative partnership with Alexander Engzell (design) — see Editing Engzell.me for an early chapter of our collaboration — reached a new level with the 2015 rebranding of Bonne Marque. This new morning of Bonne Marque proclaimed the ‘Born Makers’ era. Alex and I penned our agency’s imitative slogan (note the onomatopoeic similarities to ‘Bonne Marque’) and the creative madness followed. …


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Alexander Engzell of Bonne Marque called for updated copy on his personal portfolio during the burgeoning earliness of our design/writing partnership. Unbeknownst then, this working process laid the black-diamond foundation for what has become quintessential Bonne Marque boldness under our 2016 ‘Born Makers’ branding.

Having built his personal portfolio with the legendary animator/developer due, Jimmy Raheriarisoa and Antoine Wodniack, there were existing elements Alex and I couldn’t alter. Wild typography and cutting effects on certain words meant that, without investing in further animation and development, they had to remain. These minor limitations aside, every syllable was mine to corrupt.

First the titles, the first of which read ‘WORK.’ A designer of Alex’s passion and unique style deserves a more inspiring introduction. I began my search with this in mind doubled with the fact that it would also be an advantage to fulfil the bold four-letter brevity that ‘WORK’ had achieved. I soon presented Alex with…

About

S. Burrows / Born Writer

A writer’s thoughts and stories from the creative industry – the projects that brought the awards, the process behind the words.

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