It's been over a decade since She Was Only launched, the design studio founded by Chris Vickers and Craig Scott in 2012. With a big anniversary to celebrate, it has rebranded and renamed itself Extract, saying it reflects its long-held belief that less is more.
"It's not been an easy decision by any means," says Craig. "The original name has stuck with us since day one, and although it holds meaning for us, it doesn't mean much to anyone else. We're no longer those fresh-faced kids, so it felt like the right time to refocus and push forward rather than dwell in the past."
Of course, what began as a friendly partnership between two recently-graduated designers has since evolved into a fully-fledged outfit, working across branding, editorial and digital for clients such as The Boxoffice Company, Jacada Travel and the University for the Creative Arts. And today, two have become three, as designer Jess Chalmers has recently joined the duo – a step that, coupled with the 10th anniversary, sparked a process of introspection, resulting in the new name, new website and new brand identity.
Has the studio changed much since its launch? "In many ways, it hasn't," says Craig. "We've remained deliberately small and maintained very close working relationships with our clients since day one, even as they've grown in stature and size over time. We're a lot more confident in our approach now, too, having proven our work worldwide. Growing up a lot, and getting to know ourselves better, has also allowed us to be more collaborative than we used to be. We now work with an ever-growing network of copywriters, developers, strategists, videographers, illustrators and others, which has enriched our own practice."
As well as marking a new chapter in the studio's journey, the refresh also nods to Chris and Craig's roots and strength in editorial design. "Our approach can and does live beyond the pages of magazines," adds Craig. "That's where we cut our teeth, but we continue to apply the same principles to brand building, too. We get to the heart of what our clients want to say, who they want to say it to, and deliver it with impact. We can (at last) articulate what it's like to work with us."
Looking at the meaning behind the name Extract, Craig says it's reductive and really explains what their studio is about. "Just like the meaning of 'extract', our design approach starts with distilling an idea down to its core before bringing it to life. There's a double meaning in there, too. It's both a verb and a noun, which overlaps our two pillars of branding and editorial. It's simple, impactful and laced with meaning."
The new branding and website for Extract launch today. It's a move that Craig admits has been a long time coming. "We've put things off, we've waited another year (or three). We've grown a business under this name for a decade and that will always mean a lot to us, but it's not us anymore, and not representative of where we want to be in the next 10 years and beyond. We're very excited to fold fresh ideas and skills into the studio's work with new and existing clients as we broaden our horizons."