Big Issue Group gets a progressive and cohesive rebrand courtesy of JKR

London-based global branding agency Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) has collaborated with social enterprise Big Issue Group to create a new progressive and cohesive identity, which launches today.

Created as part of the Big Issue Group's five-year strategy, which is a response to the increasing number of people living in poverty in the UK, the rollout of the new identity has also been supported by other top agencies, including FCB Inferno, 10up, december19, Rocketmill, Kokoro and Bold.

As well as heralding a new name that encompasses all facets of the Big Issue brand, Big Issue Group also gets a new value proposition: 'Changing Lives Through Enterprise'. This is due to JKR being briefed to make a "progressive and cohesive" identity which brings together all of the different sub-divisions of the Big Issue brand.

For the brand formerly known just as Big Issue, the new look helps it harness its 30 years of experience in helping marginalised and disadvantaged people across the UK earn a living. And by leveraging this unique position, it hopes to extend its reach to even more people struggling to make ends meet or earn an income.

It's a timely focus, too. Despite employers currently struggling to fill 1.3 million job vacancies, around 1.26 million people are unemployed in the UK. On top of this, a reported 14.5 million people live in relative poverty as the cost of living crisis continues to bite. Clearly, the role of the Big Issue Group, and its ability to upskill and train people in order to prevent them from falling into destitution, has never been more important.

Paul Cheal, CEO of Big Issue Group, said: "Most people readily associate the Big Issue with marginalised people selling a magazine on the streets. Over the last 30 years, we have enabled over 100,000 people to earn over £144m in collective income.

"But there is so much more to the Big Issue. Our business is changing lives. Our new five-year strategy brings all our work together. From our work in the social investment sector through Big Issue Invest, supporting more than 500 social enterprises since 2005, to new partnerships such as launching a fleet of Big Issue eBikes in Bristol to create jobs in local communities for marginalised people. To our vendor support programmes, parliamentary campaigns and campaigning journalism. To achieve our new mission, we must expand our service offer to reach and deliver impact to as many people as we can."

One of the new Group Impact Goals the enterprise wants to reach by 2027 is for up to 11 million people to engage with and be positively impacted by Big Issue Group products and services. This could include supporting a social enterprise the Big Issue Group believes in or benefiting from a policy change the organisation has campaigned for.

On top of this, the Big Issue Group has also published a comprehensive Group Impact Report. This report looks at what impact the enterprise has had over the last 30 years and details everything it wants to achieve as part of its five-year Impact goal. To make all of these ambitions hit home, the Big Issue Group needed an equally impressive identity that would connect with people as positively as its goals.

"In the words of John Bird, Big Issue Group exists to 'dismantle poverty by creating opportunity', which became the cornerstone of our creative exploration," says Jay Hussain, Creative Director at Jones Knowles Ritchie. "This manifested in the design idea of 'social scaffolding' reflecting the support Big Issue Group provides people and communities to earn, learn and thrive.

"The dynamic, moving identity transforms the brand's most recognised asset – the Big Issue brick – into a distinctive language of extrusion and 3D building blocks. Designed to come to life in a digital space, each sub-brand within the Group has its own unique colour, icon and kinetic behaviour in motion. In addition, perspective and scale have been used to bring a sense of depth and dynamism to the typography. The overall impact creates an evolved core brand identity whilst giving each sub-brand its own distinctive look and feel."

James Nixon, CEO UK / Europe at Jones Knowles Ritchie, added: "It's a pleasure to be working with the Big Issue Group as one of our JKR Foundation partners this year. We set up the Foundation in 2016 with a simple mission – use our creativity to generate awareness, action and impact for those striving to help people be their true selves – partnering with Stonewall, SMF, Dream, C4WS and The Diana Award to deliver on this ambition.

"Our partnership with Big Issue Group represents a continuation of that journey, supporting them as they work tirelessly to change the lives of the growing number of people living in poverty across the UK. The new identity is designed to reflect this work and the brand's new strategy, generating awareness and recognition for the many ways the Group is looking to make an impact over the next five years and beyond."

Meanwhile, Zoe Hayward, Group Chief Marketing Officer for Big Issue Group, explains that the rebrand has allowed the organisation to modernise and expand so that it can create more opportunities for marginalised people than ever before.

"Our new look and branding have been designed to mirror this new and more innovative outlook," she says. "Our new value proposition, Changing Lives Through Enterprise, has always been at the heart of what we do, but by highlighting this focus across the Group, we hope to impact even more lives for the better.

"We have created a compelling, inclusive and single-minded expression of the brand, which is bold and confident, and we want more consumers to feel motivated and uplifted to join our cause. We thank JKR and all our pro-bono partner agencies who have supported us through this ambitious new phase."


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