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Our business in safe hands

27 Apr 2020

Established in 1968, Maurice Ward & Co. Ltd. is a private limited company located in Ireland. We are a second-generation business that for over 50 years have provided global freight forwarding, secure international transport, warehousing, logistics and customs clearance solutions to a range of industries.

In 2008 the Directors, due to their involvement and interest in the Contemporary Visual Arts, as well as, a demand from clients, set up a business unit engaged in fine art handling and transport. Maurice Ward Art Handling is an internationally accredited fine art logistics company that on a daily basis works with private collectors, museums, and galleries. In 2009, we wanted our business to attract more customers and become the leading name in art handling. Realising the importance of brand awareness, we were on the hunt for a designer or design firm that could assist with our goals.

We spoke with various designers and through friends, we were recommended to meet with Red&Grey to help us. They are a branding and design studio who like to think differently; Bob Grey, Keith McGuiness and the design team create effective and memorable work which makes their clients stand out. Perfect.

“I knew I had found my team from the first meeting. I immediately clicked with Red&Grey. It was obvious they were talented and fun. There is that moment when you express yourself and your vision for your ‘baby’ and you know ‘they’ get you. It is a relief, you have found a common language, you can stop trying to brand yourself and let consummate professionals do their job and work with you.” Mary Mc Loughlin, Director, Maurice Ward Art Handling

Our first port of call was working on a sales brochure which we would give to new businesses after a meeting. We wanted to leave private collectors, museums and galleries with something creative and memorable. Red&Grey designed a unique promotional card which featured a rabbit printed on a heavy grey card. This sales card was a real success for us – we received several new business calls and new business after this, from both national and international clients.

From there, Red&Grey created our new branding which made us more consistent, attractive and clear. This really helped us engage with our audience. People started to take notice of our business more – “oh, you’re the guys with the rabbit.” We understood that a brand must be content driven, visually coherent, inspirational, honest and responsive. Red&Grey encouraged us to become part of the design process and we did so through communication, collaboration and shared humour.

Through this process we realised that we wanted to tell the art handling story, so people could understand our services better. We commissioned an illustrator, Orlagh Murphy to draw the art handling journey – from the artist’s studio to the exhibition launch at a New York gallery. Each step of the process was custom drawn, from the collection of artwork, crating, and transport to installation. To have fun, we decided to show a large rabbit sculpture being transported around the world – our customers loved it!

To elevate the brand, professional photography was taken of what we do, the art handling process and our art handlers who are crucial to our service offering. We also collaborated with a copywriter, Henrietta McKervey, who helped us refine our message – “Your art, in safe hands”. Our message was clear with customers, caring for what we are doing, comes first and foremost. This really helped us clarify our message to customers.

“We work in an international market, our clients and colleagues on every continent love our message, our brand, the quality and fun we bring with the brand. Colleagues and customers tell us they love our branding. Our designers have given us great marketing tools, clear and distinctive images and messages that work.” Mary Mc Loughlin

Over time we developed the branding, advertising, brochures, exhibitions, notebooks, presentations, promotional materials, social media and stationery. Recently we updated our website by making it more user friendly, clarifying the messaging and adding more brand elements – such as illustrations, photography, icons and animations.

One of our favourite projects of 2018 was the mini booklet we created. We wanted to reduce the amount of promotional materials we bring to international trade fairs. So, to solve this issue, Red&Grey designed a 12-page business card size booklet which tells our story, featuring illustrations throughout. The booklets were lightweight and easy to transport. At events the customers loved them – handy to fit into a pocket and unique, something to remember.

Maurice Ward Art Handling enjoy working with like-minded individuals. We believe the quality of our client relationships reflects the quality of our work. What is great about Red&Grey is their collaborative nature, they like to co-create on projects, sharing ideas and are open to suggestions.

If you want to grow your business, make customers more aware of who you are or need design advice, we would recommend contacting Red&Grey, hello@redandgrey.ie, it worked for us. Also check out their website, great visual and stories throughout.

“We worked together on every aspect of design. Red&Grey understand us, know us, know our business ethos. For me that is the essence of a great working relationship, shared ethos, shared values.” Mary Mc Loughlin

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