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harry ramsden’s brand handbook january 2013

Harry Ramsden’s as a brand is a very simple idea which has successfully developed onto a global scale. But to analyse what it stands for you have to go back to the core philosophy of what the brand represent and sstands in the modern day within society. It’s much more than just Fish & Chips!

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Heritage: The key differentiation between Harry Ramsden’s and a generic Fish & Chip shop is simple, our history. Since the first portion in 1928 to present Harry Ramsdens represents the story behind the brand. Nostalgia: Fish & Chips? Seaside. Instinctively our audience’s perception of this instant association is what creates the relationship with our customers. Re-living traditional British nostalgia is what continues to make our product popular. Quality: The dominant value regarding the product(s) is the high quality sourced food. This was the very foundation of the creation of the brand and has remained at the forefront ever since. Capturing locally sourced fish for the freshness taste was key in the growth of Harry Ramsdens.

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Inspiration is pivotal when gaining first hand what the customer expects and associates with the brand. Its this association which creates a strong identity and recognition, especially when transferred onto a global platform. Harry Ramsdens draws its influence from the stereotypical, traditional British seaside. The brand’s heritage may not related exactly to the coast but the icon itself of Fish & Chips is what provides this plethora of imagery. The difficulty which Harry Ramsdens has suffered in the past is the influences and inspirations have been transferred over in pieces, with no clear style being transferred throughout. What the re-brand requires is going back to the combination of bold hand-made typography, basic design layout and iconic photography which made the “classic fish & chip shop” a symbol that it was. Page 6

Before beginning to design the visual aesthetics of the brand its key to understand the “feel� that the brand has been and trying to achieve. The main problem which Harry Ramsdens has needed address is its lack of consistency throughout its brand, in particular where the brand has went international and the message has become blurred. The re-branding should not change the perception that Harry Ramsden’s has regarding the heritage and traditional, but should simply update and modernise the outdated visual style that was decaying the brand. A more organic mark is essential in establishing this modernising of the brand. By creating this very imperfect mark it supports an element of hand-made and quality of the product and naivety about the brand. The sense of corporation and order from the existing mark is clearly replaced for an all-together more contemporary and long-lasting mark(s). Page 8

secondary logo

Main logo (plus est)

typeface styles

Nevis, Stroke “Black”, no fill, 20pt. All caps, letter spacing +100, with underline. Centre Aligned. Nevis, Stroke “Black” fill, 11pt. All caps, letter spacing +25, left Aligned.


Minion Pro, “Black” fill, 12pt, 17pt spacing. Left Aligned.

Body text

The environment was a particular part of the existing brand which had the most inconsistency on show to its audience. The combination of outdated baroque British seaside restaurants with unappealing and lifeless takeaway restaurants created a clear divide within the brand and its food. By stripping both in-house and takeaway design’s to their basic the consistency returns and the brand becomes more recognised through both mediums reinforcing each other. The in-house restaurant still taking influence from the Baroque features but on a far more control and simplistic level. While the takeaway “express” outlets have also been stripped back to the style of the “classic fish & ship shop” but with more control and ownership of the brand.

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Print design, the focal point in projecting the brand recognition with the customer’s involvement. Because of the size of the brand and its different platforms all aspects of print had to be considered. Business cards, a very simple tool in the business world would adopt a “diamond” shape, this will become the new supporting graphical shape to create more interest throughout the brand’s print design including the new “Harry’s Catch Card” incentive. Letterheads, a formality when dealing with large organisations also had to be re-designed to continue this strong brand philosophy and consistency. Simplicity was key, giving the user optimal usage while keeping all over print design. By having two options both internal and external letters can be quickly created using the formatted templates. Page 12

business card (FRONT)

business card (BACK)



external letterHEAD STYLE


Promotional material is a design element which will be constantly changing as environment and customers demands change. These simple illustrations and photographs are the basic principle with can be further development in time to keep the advertising relevant and up-todate. The primary promotional material draws influences from past-time Fish & Chip signage. Use of bold colours and illustrations creates a light-hearted appeal to the brand. These can also lead to further potential extensions with the change in illustration or phrases used to further the “shelf-life� and consistency. The additional promotional material reinforces the use of photography within the brand. It also narrates the British nostalgia through its content. By using the hand-drawn border throughout the image is given definition while supporting the mark and graphical element. Page 16



With all food related brands the menu is a key tool in defining the brand and its values. If done successfully it can reinforce the brand further with the environment. Harry Ramsden’s also has the dilemma of having several different menu’s, which has created confusion with its audience. It’s re-invention time and time again has proved unjust and has not work coherently with its surroundings. To solve this problem the brand has to go back to keeping as many different menu’s and outcomes down as possible. Therefore reducing the total menu’s to two, the Seaside Menu (Main Menu) and Takeaway menu (Outlet menu) it is far more manageable to repeat consistency and image. The focus on design in both menu’s is nautical design, use of negative space, and strong layout. While the Seaside menu provides more space for use of photography. Page 18

main menu (front & back)

Main menu (page 2 & 3)

main menu (page 3 & 4)

main Menu (Page 5 & 6)

takeaway menu (BASIC)

takeaway menu (WITH SEASIDE SPECIAL)

The presentation of the product has also differed between the two different restaurant types and has lost its “magic” which made Fish & Chips as iconic as the product itself. To address this Harry Ramsden’s needs to bring back the sense of occasion of having their meal, be that at their Seaside restaurant or an outlet restaurant in Singapore. That emphasis of something special creates a USP over competitors like Mcdonalds, KFC, Subway etc because the customer has come for not only the product but the experience felt from the brand. One way in which both in-house and outlet can both directly be effected in by updating the way the food is presented. Using a branded wooden tray as opposed to generic, and relatively cheap plastic trays, while presenting with china plates, metal cutlery and glass cups brings back sense of high quality to the meal. These can be used in both platforms and become very appealing for the customer. Page 24

tray cover

salt sachet

vinegar sachet

tray cover

As Harry Ramsden’s has become an international brand which has restaurants as far as Australia and Hong Kong, it is only right that the brand should acknowledge this within the brand ethos of locally caught high quality fish. Therefore as well maintaining their existing menu, Ramsdens can also provide a “Seaside Special”. This would be a fish which is freshly caught within that country, for example a Harry Ramsdens in Melbourne’s Seaside Special would be a Gummy Shark which is caught in Western Australia. This would appeal to customers wanting to try something different while also strengthening the brand’s values. It also gives great opportunity within promotional material, and can be developed and changed over time relevant to that countries fishing options.

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Overall the aim of this handbook was to no re-invent but to modernise and re-establish Harry Ramsden’s clear brand personality and values. By stripping the unnecessary and conflicting design elements the re-brand has created a continuity within all aspects of the design so that it can easily be implement and recognised internationally through all platforms means. The personality which has been lost of a sense of occasion and nostalgia of “British summer” had been lost in the brand’s re-attempt to create interest by increasing the menu and promotions. By going back to the core pillars of Harry Ramsden’s the audience will appreciate it’s honesty and its product more clearer. This re-branding structure can be developed further, into staff clothing, website design, merchandise design and many more. Now that the core design principles are there Harry Ramsdens will continue to raise interest and grow. Page 30

Harry Ramsden's Brand Handbook  
Harry Ramsden's Brand Handbook  

Branding handbook as part of MPA Roses Awards 2013 Entry. Outlines how the brand should be implemented across all sections.