Helping Virgin change its business for good

Client
Virgin Group
Role
Brand Consultancy
Market
UK

In 2003, Virgin asked us to bring the first significant change to their mark since its creation by Trevor Key and Ray Kyte 23 years earlier. Led by its top table – Steve Ridgeway, Stephen Murphy, James Kydd, Ashley Stockwell and Ginnie Leatham – and reporting into Sir Richard Branson, we remastered the Virgin script, in line with their group ambition to modernise the brand and renew its purpose. We were to help change the business – for good.

The parameters were: retain its human characteristics, its synonymity with Richard, its legibility across emerging digital and mobile interfaces, make it trademark protectable across markets for licensing, set global brand management standards and make it adaptable across business sectors.

Designed with
the human touch

We used graphology analysis, urban stencil-cut techniques, endless hand painted brush iterations and hi-resolution digital retouching. Slowly, carefully, the Virgin ‘NASA’ Script evolved. By streamlining and amplifying original subtleties – such as the ascent underline and disruptive unfinished edges – and retaining the human touch, a more youthful, simplified and vibrant mark became instantly more legible and flexible across channels, formats and applications. An identity that worked across the expanding group businesses: proud and ready for a new era.

Over the following 5 years, Start was privileged to help reset the standards and roll out the new Virgin brand across some of the group’s most commercially successful businesses including: Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Media, Virgin Money, Virgin Holidays, Virgin Trains, Virgin Unite and Virgin Galactic. Since our work began, the group’s reputation has gone from strength to strength across the world and exponentially increased in size and value, helping change the world of business for good.