A new visual approach for Scotland's pioneers of cloud-based accounting
CIK Accounting Solutions is an award-winning accountancy practice offering compliance and growth strategies for small and medium-sized businesses. In 2019, LBD Studio partnered with CIK’s leadership team to reposition the business with two distinct offerings; reporting compliance and company growth. Over a period of around 12 months, our work resulted in a new visual identity, bespoke print materials, and a supporting website to attract and retain new clients.
Designing a memorable yet understated brand system
The primary visual treatment used a mixture of simplicity, confidence and clarity, three character traits that underpin their culture. By stripping away the unnecessary elements from the old logotype, we created a mark that felt contemporary and appropriate to a pioneer of cloud-based accounting. This digital-first approach was rolled out across the broader brand system, coupling subtle motion design with refined typography.
A directional arrow symbol was also designed as part of the identity to visually reflect their dynamic approach, bringing clarity and purpose to their clients’ businesses.
For Compliance, For Growth
As part of our repositioning work, we introduced a new ‘For Compliance, For Growth’ proposition to align the various brand messages. This story is then unpacked into two distinct service offers, helping clients understand and engage in the type of accountancy service they feel they need. This approach was central to how we presented all secondary messages and USPs, bringing confident energy to each application.
Following the new brand proposition development, we designed a fresh brand identity to help communicate the new approach. The visual language focused on simplicity, confidence and clarity — this means that all print and digital materials look and feel confident, are not over-designed and use concise language to communicate with clients. A restrained colour palette, when paired with subtle gradients and motion design, help to give a sense of calm authority. The brand palette also helps to reinforce the messaging and works closely with the geometric typography to build a visual language that places emphasis on every word.
A technically robust website
We discovered that a clearly defined and technically excellent website would resonate well with the two core CIK Accounting Solutions target audiences during the early research workshops. We observed that many competitors in the accountancy sector operated outdated websites with an unclear service offer; these obstacles became central to our approach and were subsequently used to measure the success. From here, we defined a technical brief that would see the new website surpass the competition in almost every metric, using the latest best-practice guidance standards from Google Developers, Bing and more.
As a result, the CIK Accounting Solutions website scores highly in all Lighthouse measurements, including 100% PageSpeed for desktop and 97% for mobile at the point of launch. In addition to this, we performed extensive search engine optimisation to ensure that content could be found through the various search engines, bringing increases in traffic and page use with it.
As their creative partner, we continue to support CIK Accounting Solutions with a mixture of print and content solutions and maintain their website and search engine performance.
'We were in desperate need of a complete revamp of our existing brand and website to communicate why we exist and what we offer. We looked at a couple of potential providers but chose LBD Studio as we felt they had grasped a quick understanding of our problem. We had an initial exploratory meeting and were then guided through the process every step of the way with regular follow up progress meetings. Since launch, we have seen a steady improvement in our rankings on Google. We loved the fantastic end result — our website is second to none in terms of its look and professionalism. Our only regret is not having done this sooner!'
Managing Director, CIK Accounting Solutions
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