East London Students' Union

Representing their students, their views, concerns, ideas, and perspectives. East London Students’ Union is much more than just the “The Bar”. This project was about changing perceptions.

What we did
  • Brand Strategy
  • Visual Identity
  • Website
  • Brand Guidelines
  • Tone of Voice
  • Motion
  • Sonic Branding
  • Collateral
  • Education

A fresh start
With this project, we had a blank slate. We wanted to create a brand that was visible and inspiring, but it also needed to be believable and authentic.

In the past, East London Students’ Union hasn’t had the best reputation. Confusion over their remit has meant it’s been underutilised by the students – who then didn’t feel part of a community. The new brand had to motivate students to get involved and work together to make their experience the best possible.

Somewhere where everyone belongs
The brand had to bring the community together. Diverse students and a lack of engagement.– and that was the launchpad for our creative work.

East London Student’s Union is there for its community. No matter the age, ethnicity, or opinions of its students, everyone is welcome, and everyone is supported. No matter how big or small their needs are, ELSU supports its students and makes sure their voices are heard – all together – because they are stronger as one.

A symbol of togetherness
Our brand symbol heroes the convergence of people and ideas that ELSU facilitate. It represents the coming together of voices, communities, and cultures – celebrating their diversity and students.

Proud of their roots
Rooted in East London – a place they can truly call home, ELSU is proud of its heritage. Docks, industry, and activism have historically defined the area.

We picked up on clues from their environment to situate the brand. The primary colours; Royal Docks Purple, Ink, Steel and Smoke reference the area’s working past and our vibrant secondary palette comes from the goods that travelled in and out of the docks. The perfect combination of location and the vibrancy of student life.

T-shirts, totes and social media icons
Our design is super flexible – it’s applied to all the touchpoints a Students Union reaches. Clothing, social media and signage – everything has been considered.

The varied colour palette and myriad symbol applications mean the brand can be turned up to advertise student events or be toned back for more serious communications.

Creating a hierarchy
With an ever-evolving list of sub-brands to consider, the brand had to fit into a system that demonstrated hierarchy. We used our brand symbol as an asterisk alongside the sub-brand names to show their link to the union. The colour palette allows each sub-brand to have its own personality whilst keeping them in the same visual family.

For student societies, we have left space for them to express themselves and their individuality. The shape from the centre of the master brand symbol becomes a platform for the brands to represent themselves.

Get involved
To create an elections sub-brand, we emphasised the X within the brand symbol, highlighting it in Election Red to distinguish it from the main brand. The X is used as a graphic device throughout the sub-brand alongside our active tone of voice to encourage student participation and empowerment.

“Strong in so many ways; strategically, creatively, operationally and great communications kept everything moving at pace and with ease. A wonderful team that always acted as a true partner throughout the project wanting to deliver as much value for us as possible. The results speak for themselves.”

Richard Tuckett
Interim Head of Marketing, East London Student’s Union