Protein Studios gets a pixelated new look from They That Do, nodding to its 90s heritage

For the London-based event space and co-working community, the studio created a design system that complemented both its physical and digital spaces.

11 August 2023


The event space and creative co-working community Protein Studios has received a pixelated rebrand from the London-based studio They That Do. The agency was tasked with creating visuals for both Protein’s digital aspects and its physical space while creating a visual look that appealed to the broad range of people who use and encounter the space. “I love bringing people together and building a community that’s real and meaningful,” says Protein founder Will Rowe. “The brand had to feel centred around people and the vibe we endeavour to create here at the Studios.”

The “IRL vs URL” provided the core springboard for the rebrand, explains They That Do’s director Vincent Howcutt. “From the colour palettes through to bespoke emojis and ascii-inspired patterns, everything rallied around where the physical meets the digital and how that manifests from a visual narrative,” Vincent says. “The designed palette of parts is a playbook for Protein to add to and layer as they need across physical and digital platforms for the brand — a smorgasbord of parts that add character and instantly convey the good vibe nature that Protein Studios stands for.”


They That Do: Protein Studios Rebrand (Copyright © They That Do, 2023)

The rebrand applies pixels as a central graphic component. The pixel was chosen for the wordmark for its nostalgic Web1 feel and its roots in the 90s, back when Protein first opened its doors. But in tandem, the pixel was also applied to “give a sense of individuals coming together with each pixel representing different facets of the community”, says Vincent. From emojis to the background pattern of assets, pixels even find their way into the typeface used throughout. To further represent the IRL / URL approach, in some places the typeface is ordered, whereas in others it “glitches” into a pixelated style. A particularly satisfying motion wordmark also sees the ‘studios’ in Protein Studios disintegrate into a myriad of colourful pixels, before reforming once more.

Throughout the rebrand, Protein is abbreviated to P.S, to give the brand a “unique tone of voice”, Vincent says. The abbreviation features in numerous places – from email sign offs, newsletters and social assets to “unexpected” places in the studio space.

“The rebrand had to stand for a lot of things for a lot of people which is how we landed on a palette of assets which can be evolved over time,” says Vincent. “A system that allows for growth going forward — like an ecosystem with a community grounded at the very heart of it.”

GalleryThey That Do: Protein Studios Rebrand (Copyright © They That Do, 2023)

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They That Do: Protein Studios Rebrand (Copyright © They That Do, 2023)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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