Accompany’s eclectic identity for Australian Ethical brings positivity to sustainable investing
Since 1986, Australian Ethical have been helping people invest in companies and causes that have a positive impact on our planet; aiming to create a more sustainable future while delivering consistent returns for their customers. With interest in ethical investing on the rise but with misconceptions about its end product still present, Australian Ethical turned to Sydney-based design consultancy Accompany in search of a reimagining of their brand.
Armed with a brief to communicate that you don’t need to compromise your beliefs to achieve results, and to show that people and the planet can be better off through smart financial choices, Accompany devised a layered, positivity-packed visual language that breaks down the corporate and complicated barriers around investing. The system is defined by an eclectic mix of typography, colour, illustration and iconography, which all interact with effortless cohesion due to an adaptable grid system that allows each element to shine within its own space.
Anchoring the multi-faceted identity is the AE logo, which through its flowing forms, aims to be representative of Australian Ethical’s role as a change agent and active force. It’s supported by two contrasting typefaces, with Kent Lew’s condensed serif Whitman taking centre stage as the headline font. “It has a warm self-assurance about it,” Accompany’s Founder and Creative Director Linda Jukic tells us, further explaining that they feel the typeface “asks you to not only take notice but note its a message that matters.” Bringing function to the table is Optimo’s Plain – a choice that Jukic reveals “was selected for being just that – plain.” As a simple sans serif workhorse, the typeface ensures clarity across AE’s body copy and long-form financial documentation; providing purposeful contrast to Whitman’s character.
Alongside the identity’s typographic flair, vivid colour palette and diverse photographic library, a striking suite of illustrations helps to double down on AE’s push for positivity. “A focus on the negative is the most common tactic businesses use to encourage people to consider ethical options,” Jukic reveals, however, “Australian Ethical’s culture is very much focused on the positive impact that can be made on the planet, people and animals if we all made better choices.” The distinctly conceptual and vibrant illustrations thrive at the heart of the identity system; capturing Australian Ethical’s ethos while being something “you would never expect to see from a professional investments business,” Jukic concludes.