Only stretch Arial to new limits in their democratic identity for global music studio network Pirate
Pirate (formerly Pirate Studios) is a global network of creative studios providing round the clock access to rehearsal, DJ, recording, podcast and dance facilities; with more than 600 locations across the UK, Germany, Ireland and the US. Established on a collaborative, inclusive foundation, Pirate breaks down barriers to creativity by offering fully equipped professional studio spaces at the most affordable price point. With their growth, however, a disconnect had become apparent between their’s increasingly dry, cliché branding and the creative community that they serve. Step forward Only, the Manchester-based branding agency commissioned to reinvent Pirate’s visual identity and capture their universal spirit.
Working closely with Pirate’s team, Only identified ‘democratising creative space’ as the founding principal and underlying strategy for the new branding. They adopted Arial as the centrepiece of their visual approach – one of the most democratic, widely available, well known and freely available to use typefaces in the world. Their application of the typeface takes it in a refreshing, bold and unexpected direction, however, with “three settings of stretch” making for a distinctive aesthetic and strong hierarchy for information. In addition, Only has intelligently repurposed Arial’s Ⓟ – the symbol for sound recording copyright – as Pirate’s logo and digital shorthand.
By combining their characterful typography with inclusive, imperfect photography, Only’s identity system for Pirate celebrates the passion, diversity and authenticity of the company’s community. The rebrand has been an overwhelming success since its launch, considerably increasing Pirate’s engagement both in its venues and online.