Youth Hostel Association

1st December, 2020

Realise - New corporate brand identity for UK apprenticeship provider, Interserve Learning & Employment

93 have been appointed brand design agency to ILE one of the UK’s leading providers of Apprenticeships and Adult Education. This was following a MBO of Interserve Learning & Employment, backed by Enact and acquired from the Interserve Group.

Realise is the sixth largest apprenticeship provider in the UK supporting over 7,000 learners across a number of sectors including Childcare, Health and Social Care, Transport and Business skills. The business, headquartered in Sheffield and employing over 300 people, provides learning, education and employment services through apprenticeships and adult education services to support businesses across the country to inspire and develop skills.

We took the senior team on a stage by stage journey to evaluate the brand (Interserve Learning & Employment) and investigate the possibility of a new name to represent their business moving forward. The brand felt more like an industry body speaking, rather than a fresh faced customer brand for the 21st century. Together our focus was to build a brand that allows the business to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

‘Inspire Learning & Employment’ felt more of a description of what they do rather than a brand name. They needed a strong and ownable brand identity, that would allow the business to communicate clearly, flexibly and confidently. They needed an identity suitable for both an employer and learner audience, and one that would engage across a range of ages 16 - 60+. They needed an identity that represented their values and reflected their brand moving forwards.

On exploring their brand values, we rationalised these down to a collection of concise and meaningful words that would resonate amongst the team. This was a good checklist to review their brand behaviour. Our findings included, human, approachable, supportive, encouraging, knowledgeable, optimism, transparency, collaborative, empathetic, honesty and respect.

Brand archetypes help companies understand and communicate more easily the purpose and personality of their brand. Archetypes characterise universal patterns of behaviour for brands that we all instinctively understand. They enable stronger relationships between brands and their audience. Archetypes also help build a strong foundation on which brands and businesses can grow. 

The Sage archetype profiled them to be the guide, the mentor, an expert, to be accessible, helpful and honest. Everyone is welcome, and they represent a business that can help diversify the workplace. They’re a business that can empower individuals and companies alike. This process helped amplify the main message that people are at the heart of what they do. 

For both audiences (learners and employers) to feel a connection to the brand is important. Our recommendation to explore a simpler name would help make the brand feel more human, personable, efficient, economic and modern. The brand needed to behave more like a tech startup, be market ready, diverse, adaptable, relevant and modern.

Introducing, Realise. An identity that promotes people to people interaction. A connection, and for most people, that connection starts with a conversation. Taking inspiration from the negative space owned within the letter ‘R’ we reworked it into a speech mark that could be used to represent an ‘equal talking space’. This created a simple graphic device that is familiar to many and provides infinite variation. A fun and adaptable identity that asks the big questions. A modern graphic identity that grows with the conversation.

We wanted to inspire people to think differently about the role and value of colour in our lives and as part of a brand. Selecting a vivid tone of orange this would allow us to convey a sense of change, confidence, boldness, happiness, positivity, warmth and friendliness. Paired with a core group of secondary colours they help form a perfect fit for the brand.

The typeface we selected is open, modern and friendly. The typeface is easy to apply across the estate, working with one typeface across a range of weights.

The result, a brand that has a unique presence with a design that can adapt for the future. Realise Managing Director, Gregg Scott comments “I really love what you have done.” We look forward to working and supporting the Realise team as we begin to implement the brand across the business. Thank you for asking us to partner with you and for the opportunity.

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