Venture London Business Competition

A website that evolves to meet the changing needs of an annual competition with three distinct phases.
www.venturelondon.ca


Small companies play a big role in the development of a vibrant business community. London’s Venture London Business Competition was created in 2008 by the Small Business Centre as a way to celebrate and support the new businesses that contribute to this city’s entrepreneurial spirit. Open to new and planned London-based businesses, Venture London (VL) provides cash, prizes and support services worth more than $50,000 to help take a new venture to the next level.

We’re big supporters of start-ups and entrepreneurial spirit. So we got involved to help VL boost awareness of the competition, and increase participation throughout the business community. Our work involved a complete rebranding, including a new logo and marketing materials, along with a design and functionality update for their website. Our work with them also involved one of the first forays into the discovery process that’s now the cornerstone of all of our client work— a process that enables us to better understand the client, and allows them to understand the work that we’ll complete together.

With VL, one of the benefits of the discovery process was that it helped their team to identify the intricate needs of their new website. We took a strategic view of the three unique phases of the VL competition and, based on what we had gleaned during our discovery, suggested creating a site that would change throughout the year to support the award cycle:

  1. encouraging small businesses to submit for the award,
  2. promoting the prize announcement event while the applications are judged, and
  3.  announcing and celebrating the winners.

Early wireframes sketching out the three competition phases.

Early wireframes sketching out the three competition phases.


With a strategy firmly in place, we then set out to establish VL’s new look, beginning with a logo redesign. We began with the idea of building blocks, to represent building on and for success. We also wanted the logo to evoke the “prize” and, if possible, work a “V” into the imagery to create some continuity with their previous logo. It was a tall order, but in the end the finished logo represents a single cube, embodying the concept of VL as one supporting block in a new company’s fortunes… and if you look closely, that cube can also be seen as an envelope (“and the winner is…”) with a V-for-Venture in its centre.

 
Venture London_branding exercise.jpg

Inspiration (above) for the eventual logo ( below)

 

 

For the website, our design team chose bold and friendly colours as accents to guide visitors to the most important elements on each page. Simple typography allowed the messaging to be received quickly. The intuitive and professional-looking design created a great backdrop for playful, “handwritten” graphics that allowed VL to show off a strong and recognizable brand personality.

 
Venture_Moodboard_5.jpg

The moodboard leading our design's direction

 

Functionally, the website’s goal for phase one is to encourage people to apply for the VL competition. During this phase, the site has an “Apply Now” call to action that links the visitor to the application. The application deadline is also highlighted. Photography of a proud-looking business owner establishes an emotional connection for the site visitor.

For phase two, the goal is to promote the VL announcement event, and encourage people to register and attend. The site’s main call to action now gives quick access to reserve tickets to the event, along with event details and information about the VL prizes.

The third phase is a celebration of the competition winners, and the site gives visitors quick access to photos and information about the winning companies.

 
Mockup for Phase 1

Mockup for Phase 1

Mockup for Phase 2

Mockup for Phase 2

Mockup for Phase 3

Mockup for Phase 3

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