Yorkshire Building Society

The continuous guardianship of a brand

Yorkshire Building Society faced a common problem — they had a logo, colour palette and typeface – but as an overall visual identity struggled to be distinct, flexible or engaging.

Extensive guideline documents detailed elaborate grids, minimum sizes and precise rules — but had become a creative barrier — not allowing for the identity to evolve with the organisation. Brands cannot exist in this traditional mindset anymore. They need to adapt their visual identities to be a moving, living and constantly evolving force. Forget some of the ‘rules’ and foster the knowledge and confidence to trust your gut.

We worked together to create a fundamental shift in their design culture. A change that began with us becoming an extension to the marketing and internal design teams. Close collaboration helped us to create more flexible, overarching design principles and new visual assets that responded to the changing needs of the business. This flexible form of guardianship empowered the design team to make positive changes, whilst benefitting from on-going support.

With greater clarity of the visual language established, it provided a distinct platform which we could flex into audience specific sub-brands, like N&P Commercial, the B2B arm of the business.

Each area of the business was an opportunity to flex the identity in new and engaging ways. By helping to define their CSR initiatives, we created Society Matters, an optimistic rallying cry for the organisation to talk about all the great stuff they do in one place.

Part of our on-going guardianship is to ensure the internal creative teams fully embrace and protect the identity — arming them with the expertise and confidence to own it for themselves. It’s a much more productive and rewarding relationship to push the brand forward together.