Independent since 1965.
A comprehensive rebrand of a global academic publisher, built around the benefits of independence.
Sage are one of the world’s biggest academic publishers. For almost 60 years they’ve published and commissioned academic books, journals, reference titles and now video content and digital tools.
As their rivals had become faceless behemoths through mergers and acquisitions, Sage had an opportunity to articulate how they differed and establish a clear, distinct voice.
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.
Uniquely in the sector, Sage are female-founded and still independently owned, and it’s now been guaranteed this will continue for at least 50 years. This clearly differentiates them from rivals, and wasn’t widely known. We developed the positioning ‘Independence with Impact’ around this, and articulated what it gives customers with flexible messaging always beginning ‘We’re free to…’.
‘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.
An ‘independence mark’, above, reinforces the brand story. The logo’s lettering forms the basis of a uniquely customised font family, Sage Peak, with warm, humanist characteristics.
The logo shapes, which bend like sheets of paper, expand into a visual language used as highlights, quote marks and within a comprehensive icon set.
Alongside the core brand elements, we streamlined their digital product range from 15 to 8 sub-brands, and gave them clearer names, revised colours and a unified story.
We then created hero visuals for each, held in the S logo mark. The presentation of them now makes for a much more unified suite under the new name Learning Resources.
Limber also designed and produced hero applications across all key media – a new microsite, a beautiful printed brochure, an animated brand story video and the booth design for the prestigious ACRL conference.
We’ve taken care to make sure internal teams can follow what we’ve started, with comprehensive brand guidelines.
Sage have all the elements needed to build their brand, for the first time in decades. Their ‘independence’ story is a genuine point of difference that is gaining recognition.
The visual identity holds on to brand equity while becoming fit for the future. Their products are now structured into a unified suite, making them more simple for customers to remember and, crucially, easier for sales teams to cross-sell. This is the tip of the iceberg and work continues to roll out.
The new creative positioning has already opened sales conversations leading to ROI of over 200% in the ﬁrst six months alone.