Soft Power's left-field identity for NONYMOUS puts interaction and diversity at its core
One of the creative industry’s greatest issues is a lack of diversity. In order to combat this, Soft Power – a London-based creative studio founded by Ben Haworth and Hamish Gardner – was tasked with creating a punchy identity for NONYMOUS, a marketing and advertising agency that gives clients exclusive access to a diverse network of creatives and strategists. By harnessing remote and anonymous work outputs, they lower the costs associated with hiring and help resolve issues surrounding employment biases and, more importantly, topics concerning gender, race and age.
The goal of Soft Power’s work was to create an eye-catching brand that would entice the NONYMOUS target audience (of creatives and strategists) to sign up. “The business concept for NONYMOUS was incredibly left-field, so we knew we needed to build trust through an identity and website that felt simple enough for the clients to understand the offer yet progressive enough to pique the interest of the creatives,” says co-founder Gardner.
Proceeding to work on the brief, which began in March 2020, Soft Power opted for an interactive take on website design – one that pulls references from the recent boom in Zoom and video calls. With an already impressive client list ranging from Nike and D&AD New Blood, and having also relaunched their own striking new website, the Soft Power team evidently had a few tricks up their sleeves. The result of which sees a bold, simplistic colour palette and the Authentic Sans typeface take centre stage, encouraging its users to navigate the site through play and interaction; a move achieved by physically scrolling and stretching the text sideways, all the while revealing more information. “We felt a monochrome palette best represented the concept of decentralisation,” continues Gardner. “It was also a functional decision given we were playing with legibility in motion.”
Since its launch this year, NONYMOUS has now successfully received over 1,000 applications from creatives and strategists, resulting in an abundance of high-profile projects including work for the likes of Google. Branding, in this sense, has the power to evoke great impact – most notably when working with a radical concept like NONYMOUS, which in turn needed a graphic and bold identity to match.