A new brand for an old purpose.

Suffolk Building Society Brand Refresh

"At Suffolk Building Society we talk about being a good neighbour, and working with borne felt exactly like that, strengthened by collaboration, respect and understanding."

Lee Gladwell Chief Commercial Officer

Suffolk Building Society

When we met Ipswich Building Society they were already a locally famous brand –their fame a function of long history of service, a staple of Suffolk high streets for nearly 200 years.

But that ubiquity was part of the problem.

The brand had lost relevance, and as a result they risked missing an entire generation of potential customers – not to mention their teenage children.

In an effort to broaden their appeal they had decided to return to an old name –  Suffolk Building Society – a statement of their intent to appeal to a wider audience and restate the role they play within the communities they serve.

Our role was to help them evolve the narrative and visual identity of the brand to better reflect the modern community they wanted to be a part of – and to put the community at the heart of everything they do.

The design system is an attempt to balance old and new, created to reflect the best of the brand’s history brought into the present – to represent their connection with Suffolk, whilst opening their community to everyone – to place their members and their stories at the heart of the brand.

The logo is inspired by the historical buildings of Suffolk – and of the places SBS literally helped build (you can still find their initials on the buildings the society funded over 150 years ago).

The colour palette is inspired by the heritage colours of tje county – both the historical buildings and the environments they sit in. Some of them are even taken from guidelines for listed buildings, published by local authorities.

We worked with local photographer Richard Allenby-Pratt (aka The Suffolk Project), whose personal work documents and celebrates real Suffolk lives.  It meant our imagery was totally authentic, a genuine celebration of our members and their lives.

And we produced the ‘Suffolk Tiles’ – a collection of tiny, hyperlocal emblems that help to locate the brand in the specific places of Suffolk that they serve.

Beyond creative execution, our process included the establishment of a brand strategy (narrative and values), and we worked with the team to support the embedding and internal ownership of the evolution to Suffolk Building Society.

So by the time it came to launch, they didn’t just look the part – they played the part.

Ready to prove that community isn’t just where you are; it’s how you are.