Big Issue Group rebrands with a “progressive” identity from JKR

The UK-based social organisation has a new name, five-year strategy plan and “dynamic, moving identity” system.

Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) has rebranded Big Issue Group (previously Big Issue), introducing a new spin on “the Big Issue brick” logo.

Big Issue Group is most famous for its weekly magazine, The Big Issue, which is sold by homeless people across the UK. However, the organisation also runs trading platform Big Issue Shop, investment arm Big Issue Invest and charitable organisation Big Issue Foundation among other schemes.

Over the past 30 years, Big Issue Group has helped over 100,000 people earn over £144m in collective income through its magazine, according to CEO Paul Cheal. “But there is so much more to the Big Issue,” he adds. “To achieve our new mission, we must expand our service offer to reach and deliver impact to as many people as we can.”

The new branding, created pro bono, is part of a wider strategy overhaul, involving a five-year mission to develop innovative solutions to poverty. Part of the brief was to design a “progressive and cohesive brand identity” that brings together all of the group’s sub-brands, according to the design team.

JKR creative director Jay Hussain explains that another aim was to increase awareness of the brand’s various charitable efforts, working with its guiding principle to “dismantle poverty by creating opportunity”.

Inspired by this principle, the studio developed the idea of “social scaffolding” – thereby reflecting the Big Issue Group’s overarching ambition to engage with communities across the UK, explains Hussain.

“The dynamic, moving identity transforms the brand’s most recognised asset – the Big Issue brick,” says Hussain. This has been extruded into a series of 3D building blocks. Each sub-brand now has its own colour scheme, bespoke icons and set of animations.

JKR has also worked with scale and perspective “to bring a sense of depth and dynamism to the typography”, Hussain adds. The organisation also has a new proposition, “Changing Lives Through Enterprise”.

Last year, to mark its 30th anniversary, the Big Issue magazine was given a new look from designers including Pentagram’s Matt Willey and Big Issue art director Mark Neil.

The rollout has been supported by additional agencies including FCB Inferno, 10up, December19, Rocketmill, Kokoro and Bold. You can see the before and after of the logo design in the video below.

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