To brief

/ ‘brēf /


a : to give precise instructions to
b : to coach thoroughly in advance
c : to give essential information to

: to discuss (as a military operation)
in a briefing <briefed the mission>

We are pleased to see you come this far.

The short form that follows is the first step to help us and yourself understand the condition of your brand and establish what can we do to help it grow and evolve.

1 / 9
Who is responsible for the management of your brand?
Brand management department
An external agency
2 / 9
Could the core of your brand be summarized in a single, simple statement, which can be used as a behavioral guideline in any given situation, by anyone associated with the brand?
3 / 9
Do you see your brand as capable of being recognized through its behavior alone, without showing the logo or any other element of visual identity?
4 / 9
If your customer was to describe the most unique feature of your brand what would it be?
5 / 9
How would you describe the importance of this branding exercise?
An identity refreshment to keep up with the trends
A natural response to the evolution of the company
A long-term investment
6 / 9
What will be the most important step for your brand 6 months from now?
7 / 9
What would you like us to achieve for your brand?
Specific scope of work:
I am open for participation in a consultative brand design process.
8 / 9
When are you looking to implement the assigned changes?
Specific deadline:
Unspecified long-term consultancy
9 / 9
What is the budget designated toward this exercise?Understanding your goals and the designated budget allows us to return to you with a customized offer and to mutually schedule project milestones. Having an honest scope of investment on both sides will only improve the design process.
Percentage of quarterly marketing budget:
I am still budgeting / Maybe

Why would anyone dare to pass judgment over your brand by introducing a series of simple questions? Well… you are right. There are no easy answers, no universal guidelines, no brand horoscopes, nor instant solutions. We can’t tell you which character from a book your brand is, but what we can tell already, that there is a lot that can be achieved to improve your brand.

Answering our brief questionnaire must have been quite a facile exercise but a one that proved there is focus and vision behind your brand. I guess the next question is: What is the next challenge your brand awaits? As we are all ears and excited to undertake the challenge together. Excited about the future of this benevolent acquaintance. NECON.

How can we get in touch?


Sanrun Mining Co.

Industry / Location

Manganese mining and refinement facility / Chongqing, China

Scope of Work

Visual Identity / Brand collateral design / Print management

We were hired by Sanrun Mining Co., a manganese mine, to design a distinctive identity that would stand out in what is often portrayed as a strongly conservative industry. Surrounded by conventional, often grim imaging that takes the viewer back to the times of the Industrial Revolution, we decided to take advantage of a brief open for creativity, and developed an identity to both stand out visually and to reflect the future-oriented image of the company.

The Concept

Bearing in mind the geological nature of our client’s industry and the fact that China holds one of the most spectacular land and rock formations in the world, we decided to explore two areas in search of inspiration. The rainbow coloured Zhangye Danxia landforms and the manganese ore mine itself both display varying bands of colours when exposed to different angles of light.

The Identity

After exploring three separate design concepts we decided to focus on the manganese ore, excavation of which is the core of Sanrun’s enterprise. In similar way it has become the base for Sanrun’s visual identity. Focusing on the element’s complex features offered a wide range of creativity and allowed unique incorporation into the company’s identity.

‘maŋ-gə-nēz, -nēs

Colours and shape became more refined as the design process continued and eventually relating to both the distinctive shape of an opencast mine, and the manganese alloy’s colour-shine, visible in a cross section of a split ore block. One element, one theme. Varying essence depending on the source, focus and the direction of light.

One of the biggest challenges was transferring the colours onto print while maintaining their vibrance.


Choosing a coherent Chinese typeface was a task of equal bear as the colour composition. Designing a Mandarin typeface is not a common design practice. This has a great impact on font availability and price. We felt strongly that a typeface redesign was necessary to ensure coherence in an already clean and contemporary design. This stage required working closely with our friends from Beijing, eventually resulting in a business partnership in that region.

The Print

For business cards, we were looking for a way to combine the unique holographic effect of the manganese ore with the corporate feel the business card ought to represent. To achieve the best result we had to laminate three layers of paper which then had to be cut and manually sanded before edge-foiling.

It demanded cooperating with two of our trusted printers and at some stages drove both of them mad.

The Result

The project is unique in many ways. A focus on clear vision, and incorporating it in various stages of identity design, is its strongest feature. But it also shows that a well designed, creative approach to visual identity for a business to business service company from a very conservative industry can result in cohesive communication.