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The Interview

Sharon Lillywhite on the future-facing rebrand of Oliver Burns Studio

As the interior design firm celebrates its twentieth anniversary, Oliver Burns Studio has a new look. Following the launch of its new aesthetic, we sat down with Founding Partner and Creative Director, Sharon Lillywhite, to discuss the process of creating a future-facing brand identity that reflects the firm's expertise in crafting individual, effortless and luxurious spaces
18th Jan 2024
The Interview Sharon Lillywhite on the future-facing rebrand of Oliver Burns Studio

Walpole: Why was now the time for your rebrand?

Sharon Lillywhite: First and foremost, I wanted our branding to truly encapsulate my vision for Oliver Burns Studio, and to reflect the elegant, quietly luxurious spaces that we create. There is also nothing like a 20th anniversary to reflect on what has been achieved and where you want to take the brand! We are celebrating this important milestone this summer and it felt right to do so with a new, bold reflection of the studio.

What was the thought behind adding "Studio" to your company name?

Our clients expect the very best and as a team we work tirelessly to surpass their expectations. We take great care to recruit and work with the very best talent in the industry, and our subtle – but important – change of name looks to honour our past, while acknowledging my fantastic team who work tirelessly to bring Oliver Burns Studio to life.

What does this new identity communicate about your company?

Our new identity highlights the studio’s core ethos: transcending a formulaic approach and offering a place where beauty and function combine to deliver 'thoughtful luxury'. From being awarded the acclaimed Butterfly Mark to delivering ultra-prime spaces that are deeply felt, we strive to be a global force in thoughtful design and our new brand identity encapsulates that vision.

> Read Sharon Lillywhite's Out of Office interview

What was the most thought-provoking question you were asked by Construct London about your company as part of the rebranding process?

When it’s your own business, a rebrand is such a personal process. I remember in our first meeting the team at Construct said our (old) branding didn’t look like me! We really did enjoy working with Construct who – from the get-go – really understood my vision. We challenged them to create a concept that had not been seen in the industry before, and they challenged us to really think about our unique personality and where we wanted to take the brand in the years ahead. It is safe to say, our new branding definitely feels right!

Has the rebrand been introduced alongside any additions to your brand?

Our new identity has of course been accompanied by a new website (above) which we hope our visitors enjoy navigating as much as we enjoyed creating it. The mix of film, interiors photography, and lifestyle elements ensure the brand truly is synonymous with a luxury lifestyle. Our website redesign has really allowed us to hero our portfolio with our latest projects. Our 'Stories' section also offer a home to our thought leadership series, 'Penthouse View', which aim to share ultra-prime insights and the things we love and admire in the luxury industry.

What is your favourite element or individual feature of the rebrand?

Now that is a good question! In addition to Construct London, we worked with the very best from fashion stylists to web developers and film creators to deliver the final concept. I enjoyed every minute. If you really are making me choose, I would say my favourite elements are the lifestyle films as they really do bring to life the feeling of what it is like to be in one of our interiors.

What advice would you have for other luxury brands that are approaching a rebrand in the future?

A rebrand is a big investment, and it is so important that you pick the right team to work with. You must go with your gut on who to appoint to help you navigate through the journey. I think Rosy, Design Director at Construct London, summed up our working relationship perfectly when she said, "As designers, it’s not often that we get to work with other designers in such a collaborative and intuitive way". We felt exactly the same!

Are there any things you wish you'd thought about sooner or resources that were useful in preparation?

My background is in marketing and innovation, so we really took time to prepare the brief, with details on our market landscape and mood boards with imagery showing the sort of creative and brand personality we loved. We knew who we wanted to work with and as we needed to address different deliverables as the team grew. One of the highlights was watching the team we appointed become an extension of our own marketing team and work so collaboratively together.

> Discover Oliver Burns Studio's member profile

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