Energy Systems Catapult (brand identity development)

Understanding their needs

The Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) is one of ten Catapults, set up by Innovate UK as part of the Government’s long term business growth strategy.

Thwaites was appointed as ESC’s communications partner in April 2015, when the only employee was our client, the interim CEO.

Our task was to start from scratch to develop the brand identity, but within tight parameters monitored by Innovate UK ensuring that ESC’s ‘look and feel’ would sit alongside the other nine Catapults whilst having its own identity.


Unravelling their complexity

Starting on Day One, and with a very busy client, we worked proactively and expediently to navigate the complexity of Catapult guidelines, which were themselves in their infancy and evolving.

ESC needed an online presence fast, so our key focus was to get a logo, colour palette and image style agreed that would enable us to produce an interim website. We also needed to produce business cards and stationery for the fast-growing ESC team.


Captivating their audience

Using a combination of a near black primary colour and monotone images with key elements highlighted in the vibrant secondary palette, the output stood out – both in the energy sector and amongst the nine other Catapults – whilst remaining true to the overall Catapult corporate guidelines.

Within two months, we had an agreed and approved a look and feel for the ESC, a live website and a suite of digital and physical collateral that could be used to promote the team’s objectives and activities.

Within six months, and in time for the integration of the Smart Systems and Heat team from the Energy Technology Institute in November 2015 (which doubled the size of the Catapult team overnight), all the ESC offices were branded consistently using the vibrant colours and corporate icons that have become associated with the Catapult. We’d also exhibited at several sector exhibitions using the identity in various guises.

The Catapult’s brand identity continues to evolve, as does our relationship with the client, and 2016 promises further brand development in time for the official launch in the Spring.

“We’ve worked with the Thwaites team since our launch in April 2015. They’ve helped us in many areas including: navigating communications challenges; interacting with multiple stakeholders including DECC and BIS; developing our brand; guiding our corporate communications through an integration that doubled the size of the Catapult in terms of both revenue and personnel; and representing our company at exhibitions and events. I’m pleased to be working with them again in 2016 as we face another year of growth and change in the energy sector.”
Nick Smailes, Development Director, Energy Systems Catapult

Working on this project:

Nicola Newall , Emma Thwaites , Mark Chambers