Brand Ethos has created the new name and identity for the UK’s solar trade association, which includes a new logo, website and a range of visual assets. The rebrand to Solar Energy UK comes in a high-profile year for the UK and its role in climate change, culminating in the hosting of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November.
The rebranded association will reaffirm its reputation in the UK solar market by reaching out to other areas of the green energy sector, such as technology and finance, as well as engaging with the UK government to meet a target of 40GW installed solar capacity by 2030.
Creating cut-through in noisy climate change digital world
Established in 1978, the Solar Trade Association had a somewhat dated identity relying on the familiar sunray cliché of the sector. Brand Ethos’s task was to help reposition the association and create a brand that brings clarity and cut-through in a noisy digital world of climate change messaging.
Earth gets more solar energy in one hour than the entire world uses in a year. In the UK alone, solar energy accounts for about one in 25 of all watts consumed. That’s enough to keep all our streetlights on. This fact was a cue for Brand Ethos’s illustrative approach to the visual identity.
Working with award-winning illustrator Karen Davison the design team created a series of beautiful illustrations that not only show the impact of the sun on the work of the association’s members but, at its simplest, how sunlight during the day can turn on our lights at night.
Rolling out the identity, Brand Ethos also created icons and illustrations to support data visualisation, as well as a range of social media visuals, stationery and publication templates. The main platform is a completely new website designed and built in partnership with female-led web strategy firm A : F Digital.
Lisa Cromer, co-owner and design director at Brand Ethos, says:
“At the heart of the brand proposition is the simple belief that solar energy can be harnessed to create a healthier planet. Our instinct was to keep the name and the logo as straightforward as this proposition, avoiding clichés.
“We created an identity that is self-assured and uncomplicated. A bold yellow circle logo radiates ambition and confidence, and the identity draws on beautiful illustrations and icons to support clear messaging and help visualise data.”
Sector leadership was a key factor for new name
Brand strategist, Peter Mills, who worked alongside the executive team and member-based board, added: “The case for changing the name was compelling. Moving away from a description of ‘who they are’ to a more confident assertion of ‘what they are for’ helps position them as sector leaders able to drive policy and enable positive change.”
Chris Hewett, chief executive of Solar Energy UK said:
“It’s a simply brilliant concept, with great execution. The feedback we’ve had has been overwhelmingly positive across all stakeholder groups. Brand Ethos worked with us over an eight-month period to develop and bring to life a new name, a new look and a new website in partnership with A : F Digital and I am confident this re-brand will be transformative for Solar Energy UK, and the hugely dynamic, growing industry we represent.”