Innovate UK

  • Brand identity
  • Brand communications
  • Brand strategy

The UK Government’s innovation agency had grown into a complex hive of sub-brands, with a cumbersome identity at its core. Studio Output brought some order to the brand family, through a new name, a rationalised portfolio and a more human approach to communications.

A complex challenge
The Technology Strategy Board is a non-departmental public body that spurs economic growth by funding, supporting and connecting innovative businesses. Over the years the organisation had grown organically, with programmes added in an ad-hoc way that made navigating them problematic.

We were challenged to simplify the complex portfolio, creating a more succinct brand family that communicates in a more human way. Work began with stakeholder workshops, interviews and questionnaires to uncover the issues with the current brand.

Promoting from within
The name itself was clumsy and long, and didn’t reflect the organisation’s purpose. As changing the legal structure would require an Act of Parliament, we revised the brand architecture instead. Technology Strategy Board became the ‘corporate’ entity, and an existing portfolio brand, Innovate UK, was promoted to be the public-facing brand. We rationalised the hierarchy based on a customer’s journey rather than the corporate structure, and worked with Bottle to define the brand’s master story and key messaging.

A confident identity
The new brand identity is designed to be professional, human and engaging. At its heart is a simple logotype which acts as a confident signature to Innovate UK’s messages. To retain a connection with the previous brand, we built upon the existing purple colour, combining a stronger hue with complementary tones to add depth. An interim phase will also see the Innovate UK logo supported by a discreet ‘Technology Strategy Board’ footer, easing the transition.

Coherent brand system
We devised a coherent system for sub-brands, bringing them in line with the wider brand identity. Brave and bold use of typography and imagery creates a platform for innovative layouts. A bank of ‘dynamic textures’ subtly direct the user’s eye, while bold angles derived from the Innovate UK logotype break up layouts, crop and hold imagery. A comprehensive brand bible collates the identity, tone of voice and graphic toolkit, alongside a suite of example communications for future use.