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New brand and digital style guide for sport startup

Born from a labour of love, SOCS is an online management toolkit for schools enabling instant updates for teachers and parents about planned extra-curricular activities.

Image of the new SOCS branding and website

A white label software application that can be applied to any school website, it can also be completely integrated into the schools online systems, even down to the styling of the school website.

The Problem

SOCS were working with a brand that didn’t reflect the high spec nature of their product. It also didn’t reflect the energy of the team behind the business or their approach to supporting their customers.

Image of the old SOCS branding and website
The old brand identity had been developed in house some years ago and failed to keep up to date with the tech industry. As you can see, a radical change was needed.

Research

We kicked off this project with a thorough research phase. SOCS is a business with many different strings to its bow and the new branding needed to represent all of these in a coherent and applicable way. We planned a branding workshop to discover exactly who their audiences are and their needs. We also outlined what the measures of success would be and investigated the internal and external perceptions of the company.

Images of research we did for the project
During our research we looked at some competitor websites. These websites lacked engaging content and were largely dominated by a dull colour palette and generic photography—two things we needed to avoid.

Brand Presentation

Armed with our research, we went ahead and started to imagine a new brand identity. We presented a bold and flexible colour palette to help SOCS stand out amongst their competitors, and came up with a logo that represented the connections they help people make.

Much of what SOCS does centres around sport, so the new brand needed to feel energetic and vibrant. Being a tech company it also needed to be clean, modern and memorable.

The SOCS logo, before and after
Images showing the new branding applied

The logo was a complete departure from the old one and the outcome was not at all what SOCS imagined—but they found it fascinating how we had interpreted the results of the workshop and how we viewed them as a company. They loved the vibrancy of the colours and felt these represented all the different people in the team as well as all the different kinds of customers.

Iconography

We carried through the bright and bold colours through to the icon designs. We kept them simple and illustrative to enable them to easily be used throughout the website.

Example of the new SOCS icon design

Website Style Guide

When it came to the website, the SOCS team needed a foundation to build upon as they would be doing the development in-house. We created a style guide containing type styles, a grid system and a range of key components, along with some of the major page templates.

Elements from the SOCS digital style guide

Results

We loved working with the SOCS team. They were extremely open to new ideas and very happy to take our lead in terms of design and technical recommendations. The result is a new brand and website design direction that embodies everything SOCS is and wants to achieve going forward.