Los Angeles- and Seattle-based creative agency We Are Royale has rebranded to WAR, reflecting the shop’s commitment to being assertively creative through technology-driven design.
“We wanted to interject the brand with our passion for the craft, said Brien Holman, WAR’s executive creative director and partner. “The word ‘war’ is a little aggressive. The secret underlying all of that is that we are trying to fight for the creative. That idea echoes across our staff in a really positive way. It gives them the ability to fight for what they believe in. It’s not like I’m giving everyone in the studio the right to fight with clients, it’s about being more aggressive in how we execute our jobs and how we do our work.”
We Are Royale started 13 years ago as Royale, which emerged from Holman wanting to name the agency after Elvis Presley’s Graceland estate. “My parents were Elvis fanatics,” he said.
Of course, naming something Graceland is nigh impossible due to copyright considerations so Holman and fellow founder, managing director and partner Jen Lucero, started casting about for other names. Considering their love and admiration of Presley, also known as “the King of Rock ‘N Roll,” the word royal—or Royale—developed naturally and the new agency was born.
But Holman and Lucero also wanted the agency to be as much about its team as the creative they produced, so according to the LLC, the company’s name was We Are Royale.
“This company was never started just for us,” Holman said. “Royale isn’t just Jen and I, it’s the entire company, it’s everybody.”
“We wanted to embrace the ‘we’ and make it inclusive. ‘We’ also makes it collaborative with clients,” said Lucero.
As the years went on, We Are Royale became the agency’s official name. Clients would affectionately shorten that name to W.A.R., ultimately ushering it into a new phase.
Work on the rebrand began in 2019 and was mostly completed in early 2020. But like so many other things, the pandemic was an inopportune time to unveil the new name and brand look. But four months into what remains an uncertain situation, Holman and Lucero decided to reveal the rebrand in July, which marks the agency’s 13th anniversary.
An important part of the rebrand is WAR’s new crest of arms, designed and produced by Billelis, who specializes in the genre. The crest, which is prominently featured in the agency’s brand reel, above, as well as on its website, features a golden lion with several sets of swords behind it. Its hands are Nintendo-inspired “Power Gloves,” while a phoenix rises behind the crowned lion in the 3D work of art.
The agency also refreshed the wordmark, moving from Royale to WAR, while keeping some of the font elements. The logo, a thick white outline of a crown inside a black circle, remains the same.
The agency also adopted a new tagline: Semper Ad Meliora, which means “Always for the Better.”
Said Holman: “We’re never going to stop learning and we’re always going to get better at what we do.”