Robot Food taps into the Monzo generation for debt charity makeover
After over a decade with the same branding, StepChange updates to “live comfortably” in the world of young, popular and very digital financial brands.
- Liz Gorny
- 7 November 2023
The UK’s largest provider of debt management advice, StepChange, has rebranded. And it throws up a few questions about the look of financial organisations today. The refreshed identity fits neatly into the world of banking apps – think Monzo and, perhaps a little counterintuitively for a debt advice charity, Klarna. Robot Food carried out the work, with in-house illustrations by Ryley Devine.
“Many popular financial brands have a contemporary approach”, says Robot Food client director Jess Cook. “For StepChange, these innovations are changing the way people approach and manage their finances and the brand needed to be able to live comfortably in that world, in order to feel accessible when people needed them.”
Like in Ragged Edge’s 2022 Monzo rebrand, animated infographic-style illustrations are at the forefront. Keen to appear as friendly as possible, Monzo also turned to vibrant colourways, clear UI and squeaky clean typography. It makes sense that StepChange would adopt some of the same touches, with conversations around debt often taboo for many people today, and approachability a commodity.
Robot Food says many competitors in the debt charity space rely on photography – “think ‘looking stressed at bills’ stock imagery that avoids directly discussing debt at all”. In comparison, the new StepChange brand is illustration-led with photographer Joanne Crawford delivering unstaged compositions.
A new headline font, Degular Bold, has been bought in for its legibility and quirks, like the character style of its percentage mark. The illustrations use bold black linework and depict subjects which intersect subtly with the experience of being in debt, from housing costs to deadlines and daily spending.
“It was quite a different project for us: with FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), you’re selling things like beer or cake – it’s quite easy to see why people would want it and what’s appealing,” says Cook. “One of the big challenges of the StepChange brand and the consumer landscape was the fact that the world of money can be really murky [...] We had to apply a dynamic, accessible branding solution that balanced the B2C needs of the service’s users with the B2B needs of the partners funding it, and which also gave StepChange the flexibility it needed. It was a very different, and enjoyable challenge.”
GalleryRobot Food: StepChange (Copyright © Robot Food, 2023)
Robot Food: StepChange (Copyright © Robot Food, 2023)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.