Cornwall-based design studio Gendall has revealed a “flexible” identity for Sook, which aims to convey the “vast number of possibilities” the retail company has to offer.
Named after a Persian marketplace, Sook bills itself as a “revolutionary retail business model” which allows users to rent out empty high street spaces by the hour.
Sook retail units are fitted out with large digital screens, to which renters can upload multimedia content for a unique or branded experience.
A “flexible framework”
At the centre of the identity is a logo comprised of four blocks. Each letter of the Sook name is housed in its “own space”, creative strategic director John Lowdon says.
This is a reference to the different spaces Sook offers its renters, he explains, but also the “digital wallpaper” found in each of the units.
Sook’s logo is then brought to life via animation, the blocks twist and turn playfully across digital formats. Because of this, the typography has been kept simple and readable, Lowdon says with an all-caps sans serif.
Lowdon says the “flexible framework” of the logo can also be used elsewhere in the brand, for marketing or communications. The motion allows the wordmark to feature other four-letter words, for example. A common one is “Book Your Sook”.
As the brand continues to expand, this wordmark will feature in signage across locations. Lowdon says the team are currently working on how the logo could be stacked, in the shape of a traditional barber’s pole.
“We wanted people to be able to imagine their own version of a space”
Photography is an important part of the identity, Lowdon says. A wide range of shots are used across the brand’s various touchpoints in a bid to showcase the versatility of Sook’s spaces.
“We wanted people to be able to imagine their own version of a space,” he says. “There was a challenge in not appearing too prescriptive over what can be done with Sook’s spaces.”
For this reason, a wealth of uses are documented – from yoga classes, to gigs, brand experiences and pop-up markets.
The pops of colour found in the photography are often matched with Sook’s colour palette, which uses a dark navy as a base colour and accents this with bright hues.
“People-focused over tech-focused”
Sook uses tech and data to better inform its actions – renters are able to upload their interior graphics and videos via the online portal before they arrive at the location.
But Lowdon says the Gendall team was keen not to rely on traditional tech branding tropes for the identity.
“Sook is still a very people-focused brand over tech-focused,” he says. “And we wanted that to come through in the branding.”
This is why, instead of necessarily tech-focused imagery and copy, the brand as a whole “focuses on possibilities” he says.
What do you think of the Sook brand? Let us know in the comments below…