Sparkways - Brand refresh for education NFP

Brand refresh for a 137-year old not-for-profit, creating education pathways across Melbourne and Australia.

Brand Identity / Iconography / Brand Guidelines / Print Collateral / Digital Collateral / Signage

Igniting the journey of confidence, collaboration, and courage for children and young people.

We were engaged by Sparkways (formally known as TRY Australia) to lead the creative in a brand refresh for the education driven not-for-profit.

Adapting and changing with the times can often be one of the most difficult challenges facing not-for-profit organisations, especially long-running organisations such as Sparkways. On the one hand, they want to continue the 137-year legacy they’ve built by supporting early learning, young people and their communities since 1883. On the other hand, as the times have changed so have their services to better support their audience. How can we take the legacy of the past while simultaneously adapting and evolving with the times? A thoughtful, strategy-led brand refresh.

Stationary design for Sparkways

The educational not-for-profit underwent a complete strategic and visual brand refresh. This included a name change from TRY Australia to Sparkways, brand identity, digital experience, and strategic direction.

We were engaged for the brand identity refresh, including logo, colour, typography, print collateral, digital collateral, brand guidelines and spatial design for their Early Learning flagship centre. We crafted the brand identity around the concept of igniting the journey. We used this journey methodology throughout the brand language, including the logo, secondary language, iconography suite and brand collateral. 

Logo redesign for Sparkways
Sparkways Logo signage design on building

The challenge was to create a brand identity that harnessed their history, empowered their staff and most importantly could connect with their two very different audiences and sub-brands: Early Learning and Youth Services.

We created a dynamic secondary language that could be adapted to suit the different demographics such as playful and fun for Early Learning or paired back to be conversational and considered for Early Learning. The colour palette had been designed harmoniously with the brand architecture allowing for swapping of primary colours to give both Early Learning and Youth Service a distinct feel within the market, while also having consistency across the brands.

Sparkways logo rationale breakdown, the inspiration behind the design

The concept of igniting or “sparking” the journey became the foundation for the brand experience and brand refresh.

The brandmark has been carefully considered with layers of hidden meaning to use as storytelling opportunities in brand and marketing material. The three colours reflect the brand’s essence, “sparking the journey,” and the three key education areas of operation: Early Learning, Youth Services and Social Enterprise.

A closer look at the details of the brandmark: The energy of the “S” represents the Spark, the upwards progression symbolises growth, the form of the “S” showcases the journey, and the blending between colours is the intersection of the community coming together.  The bold and energetic “S” within the logo has become a core element of the brand DNA, acting as a conversational journey device for the brand. It has allowed the brand to stand out amongst their peers while showcasing their collaborative and compassionate nature.

Our goal was to unify the two sub brands; Early Learning and Youth Services while also giving them a unique colour palette for more straightforward communication.

We worked closely with the Sparkways team to ensure we utilise their knowledge, unique experience, and deep understanding of the three sectors to ensure the brand was impactful, engaging and relevant to each brand’s target market. The brand colour palette is vibrant and fearless while still being flexible enough to engage stakeholders from preschoolers to corporates.

Youth Services:

Early Learning:

We created extensive 58-page brand guidelines to help the internal and external stakeholders at Sparkways work confidently, collaboratively, and concisely with the updated Brand Direction. This took stakeholders on the brand journey in an inclusive way, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the brand direction fully.

What our clients have to say:

Jacki Reid
Sparkways Manager
Marketing, Communications & Fundraising

“Storyfolk were a natural fit for the Sparkways rebrand, combining great design ability with their pragmatic approach and genuine values alignment. They took a multitude of stakeholders and budget restrictions in their stride to deliver a great outcome.”

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