Nu Poll Merino
BRAND STRATEGY | IDENTITY SYSTEM DESIGN | COPYWRITING
Develop a new brand identity system for a group of Merino sheep farmers, allowing them to take their venture to the next level and stand out from their many competitors.
Identity System Design
Social Content Creation
The brand was exceptionally well received at the launch during the annual Eastern Cape livestock sale of 2021, and the business continues to go from strength to strength in difficult times.
Nu Poll Merino are a consortium of poll merino breeders from the Middelburg area of South Africa’s beautiful Eastern Cape province. Their polled (hornless) rams are notable for their excellent conformation and high quality wool.
When I was approached by Eben, Rob and Stuart of Nu Poll to help them with their rebrand, I knew we’d be able to build something special together: a local brand capable of developing a cult following that transcends their sector in much the same way agricultural giant, John Deere, does.
Initially operating under the "Eastern Cape Merinos" moniker, Nu Poll sought to differentiate themselves from competitors by establishing their position as poll merino specialists. Their original branding was dated and didn't convey any of the feelings of trust and expertise that the farmers who make up the consortium itself do.
My aim with this project was to provide a logo and branding system that would evoke the sense of credibilty that the Nu Poll Merino farmers themselves exude.
I supplied a brand identity that feels established and modern at the same time, imbued with the same confidence, ruggedness and sense of humour that defines the farmers of the Eastern Cape.
The major challenge in the initial design of the logo was developing an iconic mark that was obviously a ram, without horns. This was achieved by emphasising the male merino's prominent nose ridges, and by using bold linework to form the mark.
From the get-go, the logo was designed with adaptability and marketability in mind, so an extensive brand asset pack – including multiple logo iterations, badges and a wool-knit tyre track pattern – was developed.
I used bold type treatments and a colour palette reminiscent of vintage Ford tractors to speak a brand language that would endear itself to both farmers and the general public.
The benefits provided by polled sheep are evident in their fleeces – they produce more wool of a higher quality, and are less likely to hurt each other in territorial battles. Developing the launch campaign copy was a no-brainer once I knew this.
With a masculine and iconic poll merino ram’s head as their talisman, and a tongue-in-cheek voice that speaks directly to the spirit of the farmers themselves, the Nu Poll Merino brand is already generating fans in the Eastern Cape and beyond.