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News Commentary2020-03-19

Essence supports Brixton Finishing School with new brand identity

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A new identity for new thinking

Founded in 2018, London's Brixton Finish School is a ground-breaking digital creative accelerator program that offers a lifeline for underrepresented groups by providing skills through real-world advertising experiences.

In March 2020, the school launched a campaign and brand refresh celebrating the inherent value of inexperienced and creative young people and encouraging individuals from diverse backgrounds to enter the creative industry.

Essence was responsible for the brand refresh, which was delivered pro-bono, while the campaign creative, which will run online on The Daily Mail and, as well Out of Home throughout London with Clear Channel and in print as a Metro cover wrap, was designed by Brave.


Essence designed the new brand experience to provide a fresh look that works to attract creative minds and represent the school's convention breaking, brand-pushing, and change making attributes across all touch points - web, social, print, and OOH. The design adds energy, fun, and empowerment to the overall brand experience and reflects input from students who told us how vital the school was to give underrepresented groups opportunities to develop their careers in creativity otherwise not afforded to them. 

The new brand identity retains the school's iconic brand challenger symbol - the lightning bolt. The bolt also underscores the school's close ties with Brixton, the birthplace of David Bowie.

Essence condensed the typography in the identity system, giving a nod to imperfect graffiti by layering the logo onto different graphics - representing Brixton's expression and freedom to create. The system includes hand-drawn elements and tactile rips to symbolize the shredding of misconceived ideas around the students, imperfection, and empowerment. 

Andrew Veasey, VP Creative at Essence, said "Brixton Finishing School offers a new channel for the industry to welcome fresh thinking in and a lifeline for young people who might not ordinarily receive opportunities like this. We were thrilled to help such a worthwhile cause."

Of the new brand experience, Ally Owen, Brixton Finishing School’s Founder, said "Brixton Finishing School is overjoyed with our new look and feel - it was a tough brief to appeal to multiple audiences (students, sponsors and industry) and Essence nailed it. It's strong, bright, bold and makes you want to discover more. It's inclusive and 80% of our focus group, when asked, loved the look and feel. We couldn't be happier"

Brixton Finishing School is accepting applications until 1st May 2020 for its virtual program which begins on 29th June and will offer a wide curriculum choice including interactive learning through masterclasses and workshops, with video classrooms, a shared working agenda and independent project work.