5 Minutes with Studio Ongarato

The agency behind the new JRF identity.


For 25 years, Studio Ongarato has challenged the conventions of branding, wayfinding and placemaking both locally and internationally.  Renowned in the design industry for their branding, identity and passion for design, we couldn’t think of a more suitable agency to entrust with the JRF rebrand.


We sat down with Ronnen Goren, Co-Founder and Director of Studio Ongarato to discuss their design process, what makes a successful brand and the creative direction behind JRF’s new brand identity.


Broadly speaking, what makes a strong brand?


Strong brands today have a clear understanding of their audience as well as the communities they create around them; they are clear about their likes and dislikes – and are driven by a creative vision. They understand that their brands are the sum total experience of their image & identity, thought leadership, social media narratives, staff culture and their engagement with customers both online and offline.


Top 3 design brands globally?


Aesop – signature product & packaging, their store experience and commitment to literature & philosophy
Vitra – its radical way of delivering and curating furniture & furnishings for modern life
Apple – for its unwaivering commitment to the value of design & technology through product, interface and store design


How do you approach a new project?


Every projects starts anew, with no preconceptions. Curiosity, enquiry and challenge to the status quo through strategic thought helps us creatively position and define brands that have been culturally influential. We have always prefaced ideas and the creative positioning of brands over style, which has meant that they stand out as a result of their conceptual clarity.


What attracted you to working with JRF on their brand refresh journey?


We had worked with the James Richardson Group previously and understood the value they placed on brand and design. Working with a business that had a strong founding vision and ethos provided a great foundation from which to reposition and elevate the brand for its future – a strategic design response which would be as much about the culture as around design.


What makes the new JRF so special?


The new identity revitalises the JRF brand, building a connection between its proud heritage, and a dynamic solutions-based vision for its future.


Describe the creative direction behind JRF’s new identity?


The juxtaposition of the Old vs New sets up interesting tensions in the brand that allowed us to reference the past whilst injecting an overlay of the contemporary. The identity system as a whole has layers and graphic dimensions that allows it to flex from something mannered to more expressive depending on the context and communication. Selection of colour, nuance of finishing and embossing with a bevelled edge provide nuanced detail to JRF’s new identity and logo.

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