Founded as a family Lark Insurance is an independent insurance specialist that has been offering personal and bespoke insurance for 60 years. With so many other businesses claiming to offer ‘personal service’, the company felt its unique selling point had lost its impact and had merely become a hygiene factor. Lark’s aim was to create a stronger statement within the competitive market through a branding and corporate identity exercise.
During their initial phase of research and analysis, ASHA conducted stakeholder interviews, and a widespread staff survey as well as looking at the competitive market. The output of this phase identified Lark as being a company that really did care about their staff and their customers – treating both audiences with the same traditional standards of professionalism, reliability and honesty. With a consistency and continuity of staff, Lark were able to offer a service crafted from experience, knowledge and expertise.
ASHA articulated the new brand using the language of bespoke tailoring through a carefully crafted visual identity system. The specially designed marque incorporates the outline of a lark, and this outline is used as an independent icon throughout the identity system to add distinction and pace to even the most formal of documents.
What we did:
A mark that reflects heritage and individuality
Lark was founded as a family company in 1948 and two members of the Lark family still sit on its board of directors. In keeping with the ‘tailor-made’ approach, ASHA created a bespoke logo font, specially designed and kerned, and incorporated the icon of the lark. The result is an ownable and identifiable mark that sets Lark apart from its competitors while underlining its traditional values.
Crests of excellence
Lark offers insurance cover in a variety of areas such as musical instruments, travel and motors. ASHA took inspiration from objects and ideas that express heritage and excellence within each sector to create a set of unique crests. These serve as identifiers for the products and services offered by Lark. Conveying the idea of quality, they not only reflect Lark’s exceptional standards but also resonate with Lark’s high-calibre clientele. The year ‘1948’ – the year Lark was founded – was incorporated into each stamp to further enhance the brand’s heritage while the words ‘made to measure’ reinforce the individual service Lark offers its each of its customers.
Stationery that conveys a one-to-one service
ASHA used the colour palette to differentiate employees' business cards in different departments while the use of custom-made stamps give employees a simple way to personalise documentation. Both elements highlight the fact that Lark delivers its customers an outstanding, personalised, one-to-one service. The brand has to operate at the most practical level so the lark icon can be used to bring literature to life on even the most formal of documents, such as the policy documents.
Colours inspired by the Lark
To create the corporate identity colours, ASHA returned to the icon of the business – the lark – to create a primary palette inspired by the colours of the bird. As well as its vibrant yellow of the lark’s breast, more subtle colours in the bird’s feathers – greys and browns – were picked out while the bird’s natural environment inspired the blues and greens of the colourfon – the bar of colours used throughout the brand’s identity. These colours form the primary palette, which is used to identify Lark’s different areas of business: private clients, corporate clients and employee benefits. ASHA also created a secondary set of colours to expand the palette while the grey colour is employed to identify a distinct sector of Lark – IALOB (Insurance Association for London and Overseas Banks) – an insurer of financial institutions.
Lark prides itself on the loyalty of its staff and rewards them for their service; nearly a quarter of employees have served the company for more than 10 years. ASHA introduced elements that would reflect this ethic, creating a work environment that feels unique and gives employees a sense of pride and identity. Posters containing inspiring quotes reflect company values and serve as a template for the creation of further posters by in-house staff.
In the reception area, all elements point back to the brand such as pictures of larks, bespoke patterns on cushions and a box of bird callers in which the lark stands out among its peers. ASHA also shot portraits of staff members that can be used in internal and external campaigns. Beautiful custom imagery brings to life Lark’s employees, makes them feel part of Lark’s extended family and conveys how the company values its people.
A literature suite that reflects individuality
Lark produces unique documents and proposals for each customer so ASHA developed a set of folders for sending out documentation. The bespoke colours and crests reinforce that fact that Lark is an expert in every sector in which it operates.
For the typeface, ASHA looked to the watch-making world for inspiration. The result is a clean and simple typeface that communicates quality and tradition while retaining a modern edge.
Using stock images of generic products is common in the insurance industry however to reflect Lark’s ‘crafted’ approach, ASHA created a unique set of drawings to communicate the company’s areas of expertise. Tailor’s patterns were used as the inspiration for creating beautiful, simple drawings that can be used for press advertising, direct mail or within the company’s literature. At the same time. annotations serve to bring the drawings to life and impart Lark’s values. This innovative use of bespoke images sets Lark apart from its competitors and effortlessly communicates its core principles of tradition, quality and individual service.
A simplified website
Templates were delivered for the website to reflect the rebranding in which the architecture has been simplified, rendering the user experience more straightforward.