Big Penny — Each for all & all for Each

— Services

  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Identity
  • Design
  • Tone of Voice

A new name, visual identity & tone of voice for Walthamstow’s community venue

Truman’s Beer first approached Manifest in 2019 with a brief to rebrand their range of beers and newly acquired brewery in Walthamstow’s Blackhorse Lane. As the pandemic hit, Truman’s, like many other breweries, found themselves having to re-think their offering and pivot the business to survive — turning the new brewery into Truman’s Social Club — a venue born of its time, created by the needs of the ‘new normal’.
We worked closely with the Truman’s team to help evolve and rewrite our initial brief. Following conversations with key stakeholders, it was clear that there needed to be less confusion with local brand The Old Truman’s Brewery so, as well as branding the social club, brewery, bars & beer range, we needed to come up with a new name for the brand.

The Challenge

Develop a new name, strategy & visual identity for Truman’s Social Club — a venue born of its time, created by the needs of the ‘new normal’.

We delved into the history of Walthamstow and its diverse, close knit community to develop a brand that evokes both the company’s and its community’s humble, democratic & accessible culture.

With the new brand offering revolving around the Social Club, it made sense to built our thinking around that, developing a brand proposition around community and belonging. We were inspired by the old social clubs, co-ops, close-knit communities and the words of Raymond Poincaré – the ‘Maison Commune’ or ‘Common House’ using these to create our brand essence and, in turn, inspire our thinking around a new name. This research also inspired our brand mantra — ‘Each For All & All For Each’, taken from an old Co-Op building relief.

The new name needed to evoke a sense of humility and community without feeling small or twee. We researched Walthamstow’s past and discovered that it once had its own currency – the Walthamstow Penny – produced from its local copper mill. What we liked about the ‘Penny’ was that it also brought to mind a ‘Penny Social’ – a fundraising event that combines elements of raffles and silent auctions. It harked back to a time of close-knit communities whilst also being relevant to the brand’s surroundings and heritage.

We landed on ‘Big Penny’ – a name that gives a sense of scale to both the brand and its venues as well as evoking a humble, democratic & accessible culture.

Building on our brand essence of ‘Belonging’, we created the brand’s Positioning, Mission, Vision & Values, Target Audience interaction guidelines and Tone of Voice – all coming together in our brand playbook, giving everyone in the business the tools to live and breath the Big Penny brand.

When it came to the visual identity, whilst we wanted to acknowledge the brand’s past and rich history, we also wanted it to be seen as moving forward and so the brand captures this with an aesthetic that is bold, bright and energetic.

There were elements of the legacy brand we were keen to retain, building on the current colour palette and using the brand icon – originally created by legendary designer Abram Games. We introduced standardised lock-ups for all sub-brands and typography that struck the balance of classic and contemporary.

The Big Penny design system uses a variety of different treatments, using the exclamation mark from the icon to either hold imagery or as a bold graphic device as well as creating a new graphic device using ‘pennies’ that are dotted around collateral to give the feeling of a community pin-board. This design system was then developed to work across various touchpoints from venue collateral, staff clothing, signage and the core range of beers produced by Big Penny.

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