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 ‘RARE.’
Directly underneath ‘RARE’ is a no-nonsense description of Alex’s position, deliberately grounded to grant me adventurous license elsewhere. I am particularly satisfied with the phrase ‘award-winning reflections’ here, turning what could be read as a simple boast into poetry. The confrontational ‘unmatched’ ties in with the ‘Over a decade in the game’ tone established on the homepage. I can’t take full credit for the final line, which at the time read ‘I never settle for acceptable. Only exceptional.’ My input to improve the line by turning it third person and exchanging ‘Only’ for ‘Expect’ is a profound example of the role of an editor: knowing what to keep as well as cut.
We move from the homepage to the about section.
Thinking confrontationally again, I exchanged the title for the publications section for ‘Hype’, which is an interesting choice considering the often negative connotations of the word. Alex and I mutually chose to ignore these connotations, enjoying another four-letter success of a title and realising the larger message we were portraying by using this word, which is this: we don’t care what the world thinks.
One standout reason for this is because of the many awards that Alex’s design has won over the years. With great writing material — because awards, talent, personality and dedication equals great material — a writer has the freedom to do almost anything he or she wants.
The ‘HONOURS’ section represents my finest writing on this portfolio. I break from the four-letter title pattern here, but this title is watertight. The first line of the text follows a deliberately conventional grammatical structure in order to present the bold claim as the naked truth that it is. The second paragraph contains two playful rhymes — achieve/prestige and combined/bona fide — that continue the vein of thinking that this is not copy to fill design; this is writing.
And what about that final four-word paragraph, tying the entire site together as though it were a novel. ‘His talent is rare.’ No one would miss the dovetailed divinity of ‘rare’ repeated; once to introduce Alex and again to underline the importance of its first use as a heading. If readers were unsure of the ‘RARE’ title on the homepage, they aren’t anymore. Those looking to hire Alex will have learned from my writing that he is unique, dedicated, award-winning and bold.
After launching the revised site, complete with an edit of the six case studies on the website, Alex and I were beginning to realise where this collaboration could take us and what it would mean for the agency. An excellent designer or writer is one thing, but upon combining those talents an even more unique delivery occurs, and this is where the new Bonne Marque begins. Read Branding Bonne Marque to trace the detailed progression from excellence to perfection.