Not A Phase, a London-based charity that supports the lives of trans+ adults across the UK, has enlisted the help of creative agency Weirdo to create an identity for its ongoing project Misfits. Started in 2021, Misfits is a free fitness programme that caters to the trans+ community by providing them with a safe space to “empower those that have been conditioned to shrink”. At the classes, participants can improve their fitness, focus on their wellness, and learn self defence from a qualified group of instructors and trainers. As one of Not A Phase’s most successful initiatives, the charity wanted to create a new identity that reflected its community-focused and progressive ethos.
“'Community, community, community – the more we spoke to people about Misfits, the more we heard that word,” says Ben Sanderson, Junior Creative at Weirdo. “Not A Phase founder Danielle St James (Dani) and trustee Alix Anson-Jones had both said from the off that the Misfits rebrand shouldn't feel too sporty, as the programme is about so much more than fitness, so we headed to Gymbox in London and spent an evening at one of the sessions to see this for ourselves.” What they found was a group of enthusiastic attendees who explained that, beyond helping them to get into shape, Misfits had transformed their perception of the gym setting. One attendee told Weirdo that Misfits showed them that “gyms are not just a place for cis men”, while another revealed that gyms had previously been “dysphoric settings” – but not anymore.
Working on the new identity, Weirdo wanted to capture this spirit and quickly devised a core brand device composed of a logomark that wraps around a corner. It’s an abstract approach that serves as a “bold and friendly reminder for the trans+ community to take up that extra bit of space", says Ben. With the help of Rob Nichols from Farside Studio, they turned this simple motif into motion, allowing it to work with any word and, fittingly, to “take up any space it wants”. Next was the typeface, which needed to match the confidence of the brand device. Weirdo settled on Düe by Johanne Lian Olsen, and paired it with the “softer letters” of Rooney by Jan Fromm, allowing them to “show up unapologetically — but in a warm, welcoming kind of way.” These were complemented by a vibrant green and purple, which sit alongside the existing colours of Not A Phase to create an energetic colour palette. Finally, they incorporated in-action and portrait photographs of Misfits participants shot by Edi Whitehead.
Reflecting on the collaboration, Dani from Not A Phase says that, “We were looking for a complete overhaul of the way that we present one of our most successful projects, Misfits, and Weirdo understood the task in hand. This was a project all about taking up space, which is quite clear in the outcome that was all based around the lettering looking three dimensional. We were elated at the final result and are so happy to continue our great working relationship with the agency."
GalleryWeirdo: Not A Phase – Misfits (Copyright Weirdo ©, 2022)
Weirdo: Not A Phase – Misfits (Copyright Weirdo ©, 2022)
About the Author
Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.