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Independent since 1965

A comprehensive rebrand of a global academic publisher, built around the benefits of independence.

Brand story
Brand architecture
Visual identity
Graphic design
Website design

Sage are number five or six among the world’s biggest academic publishers. For almost 60 years they’ve published, and often commissioned, academic books, journals, reference titles and more recently video content and digital tools.

Several big rivals have recently gone through mergers or acquisitions, and Sage needed to articulate more clearly how it differed from the behemoths in the sector to retain a clear voice. Commercial academic publishers are often seen as a necessary evil in universities, and yet research showed Sage were seen as ‘the nice ones’.

Visually the brand hadn’t been fully reconsidered in decades. Limber Brands worked with them closely side by side for 18 months, steadily working through key objectives – to re-articulate their positioning, tell a clear story, streamline their product offerings, update the logo and build a recognisable visual language.


‘Independence with Impact’ underpins the brand’s visual evolution. We evolved the logo mark, freeing it from its oval frame, retaining the three parts but creating a far more fluid, 3D-like shape that can blow up to hold many different content types – just as a publisher holds many different publications. And we advised the logo lettering be switched from upper to lower case, for a more personal tone that reflected their warm personality.


Independence with Impact

Uniquely in the sector, Sage are female-founded and still independently owned. It’s now been guaranteed this will continue for at least 50 years. In a sector full of mergers, this clearly differentiates them, and wasn’t widely known. We developed the positioning ‘Independence with Impact’ around this, articulating what that gives customers with the flexible structure ‘Free to…’.


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