Country Hearth and Fireplace is Atlantic Canada’s largest retailer of Hearth and Fireplace products and accessories. The company offers high-end, exclusive products and a full range of professional services. Their visual brand identity was not in line with their target market – the 35+, mid- to upper- income demographic.
Flame Design was first approached to redesign an annual direct mail catalogue. Previous versions were heavily sales focused – featured loud graphics, and bright blue, yellow, and purple colours. Flame took a completely new approach. Realizing that the target audience valued quality over price, we designed a professional “lifestyle” catalogue that would touch the audience on an emotional level. The new catalogue focused on powerful layouts with dominant photos featuring people and relationships. Technical jargon for each product was replaced with captivating headlines to draw the reader into story-format copy. We dropped the “cold” colours and introduced a warm, relaxing colour palette. The end result stressed benefits and transformed the “flyer” from a throw-away into an enjoyable sit-down read.
The new catalogue set a higher standard for the company and a new, more sophisticated logo was long overdue. Our primary objective was to create a memorable, elegant logo that would have the strength to represent the company’s premium products and top-notch customer service.
The corporate blue was softened to create a warmer feel. Creating a unique fire was a design challenge. The highly overused single flame represents anything from religious imagery to welding, and the full fire sways dangerously close to warning labels or even camping equipment. By synchronizing 3 flames, with one dominant, we were able to project a unique and elegant fire that fit snug within the silhouette of a home.
The home imagery also encompasses the parent company’s subsidiaries, which offer other home/patio products. The layout and typeface were strategically chosen to carry the company’s image and increase name recognition.
Country Hearth’s original website was beginning to show signs of aging. The design was outdated, the content did not meet company standards, and the navigation was confusing. Flame designed and developed a user-friendly website with a strong “lifestyle” focus, utilizing interactive features, updateable components, and website statistic reporting. The primary objective of the site was to move potential customers emotionally and get them into the store (and on the phones) where the sales team could take over. To help reach this goal, the site educates the customer to the extent that credibility and trust can be established.
In April, 2004, Country Hearth launched a new line of luxurious spas and patio accessories under the name “East Coast Spas & Patio.” Flame was responsible for designing a companion logo and website that would appeal to the same target market, but with a leisure focus.
“Flame Media Design has provided us with a professional looking product that has helped strengthen our corporate image. They worked within the tight timeframe imposed by printers and stayed on budget. Customer response to our new catalogue has been overwhelmingly positive and this has translated to added sales.”