Wealth management isn't normally the sexiest of topics. But in its rebrand of Talagent Financial, &Walsh has reached into the heart of what makes us human.
Often, when a client comes to a design agency looking for brand reinvention, there are certain red lines you cannot cross: a case of working with what you've got. But in the case of Talagent Financial, a cutting-edge wealth technology platform designed for modern advisors, celebrated New York agency &Walsh was given wide scope, and worked to transform pretty much everything including the name itself, brand strategy, visual identity, 3D assets, platform design and website design.
Of course, there's always a danger in such scenarios of making change for change's sake. But in this case, &Walsh has delivered a new brand identity that not only looks and sounds good and functions admirably but is underpinned by a powerful and well-thought-through concept that makes everything work together beautifully.
It's yet more superlative work from the team that in 2023 have also created a vibrant new visual identity for LQBT+ app Lex and potent new branding for creative agency GUT. Now, here's another fabulous branding project creatives everywhere can learn from.
Background and concept
Talagent Financial is a cutting-edge wealth technology platform designed for financial advisors. They came to &Walsh to help redesign their brand in tandem with their new platform launch.
In initial strategy work, they learned that advisors shared a negative sentiment around risk. Fabric's technology, however, allows people to embrace risk in new and powerful ways. So, the team decided to centre the brand direction on just that – a shifting perception of risk. In short, the brand expression demonstrates that risk should not be avoided but embraced: "Risk is all around us; it is the Fabric of life."
This all makes sense to us and seems particularly timely. In the post-Covid-19 era, we've all become so used to minimising risk and playing it safe, which is all well and good. But if we never did anything risky, we'd essentially never live: we'd never get in a car or a plane, let alone open our hearts to love, launch a business, or strike a peace deal with a long-sworn enemy. So that's a concept that goes straight up our flagpole.
The brand's original name, Talagent, combined Tailsman and Intelligent, which was perhaps a bit too clever. We're all so busy we tend to make snap judgements whenever we hear a name and not think beyond the millisecond we spend processing it. (Who, for instance, assumed that The Eagles of Death Metal are a death metal band? They're not).
Similarly, people assumed Talagent were an insurance brand because of the "agent" element in their name.
Instead, &Walsh decided to go through a strategic naming process to find a more evocative and unexpected name that better told their brand story around risk. The word 'Fabric' might not have obvious associations with finance, but it has a deeper, more fundamental meaning that captures the idea of a weaving tapestry. (And given the context, no one was likely to confuse it with a company manufacturing fabric!). The new name then inspired the entire brand idea: Risk is the Fabric of Life.
3D elements are also central to the new branding, with a chrome 3D texture designed to feel like a piece of fabric from the future. It visually represents the brand idea by wrapping around different elements like people and typography as a metaphorical representation of weaving risk into your wealth management strategies.
This new branding comes in tandem with the launch of a new website platform for Fabric. The challenge with creating this interface was to organise a vast amount of information extracted from each client's database and present it simply to assist the advisors in making the best decisions. Together with the Fabric team, &Walsh designed an experience that allows advisors to manage a larger number of clients much more accurately with unique insights provided by Fabric technology.