The Sparc Brand
Looking for the Sparc brand guidelines and downloadable assets? You can find those here.
What's in a Name?
Before we were Sparc, we were ArtWorks. However, since our founding in 1988, we have been called many things by many people — ArtWorks, Valleys Kids (our parent organisation), Bike Club, Soar, Dance, Drama Club…Everyone knew us by different names, which as you can imagine led to some confusion! As you all had your own names for us, we decided to make an effort to consolidate our name ready for our 20th anniversary and have you help name us, officially!
During 2017 and early 2018, we worked with some of our young members, our volunteers, and Welsh design studio Webber Design to come up with a new name that really represented us (and you!). We had a number of workshops in which Webber Design explained brand naming, design 101, and branding as a whole. From there, we began narrowing down what we were really about, what we mean to you, what we mean to our partner organisations, and what we should aim to be going forward. It had to be short, sweet, representative, and ideally bilingual.
At the end of the workshops, we had finally arrived at the final decision: Sparc!
The visuals were developed based on the name and our thoughts from the workshops. Two design routes ("Swoosh" and "Block") were presented to us and our workshop group, allowing for feedback. Here's some of what was said!
- I like the swoosh I feels more inclusive for a broader age group!
- I like the idea of it being ‘swoosh’ because of the tag line and having a brush effect and I think it will catch the eyes of people more when accessing the page and be more inviting and homely.
its very unique and very original (Swoosh)
- I chose this as I feel like it's more diverse and can be used in a variety of way, I also think the swoosh logo is more fun, creative and has more of a personality. I feel like the other design is very blocky and I feel like it wouldn't suit 'artworks' (Swoosh)
- Love them both but prefer Swoosh overall. Although the changing Block burst is a really interesting concept I prefer the spark at the end of the Swoosh logo and I feel like perhaps changing the colours or gradient on it could have the same effect. After showing some friends for their feedback they have suggested the Block logo is a little childish which may be an issue for the older groups. Great work on both logos, whichever is chosen in the end it’ll work!
After the votes and comments were cast, the "Swoosh" design was in the lead by over 90%, however during a presentation to the youngest members of our community, they preferred the "Block" approach based on how colourful it was. Our decision? A combination, which resulted in a colourful, vibrant, dynamic brand identity! The imagery is based on a firey, sparc-y, painterly motif, full of energy and creativity, but never quite the same twice. Unique and individual, just like our participants.
Making it your own
During the "soft launch" of our brand in March 2018, we did a series of workshops and invited people to join in, encouraging them to create their OWN Sparc! You can see the results across the Sparc website, in their own galleries here and here, as well as in some of our forthcoming bits. We will be adding more in the future, so you are more than welcome to make something and send it to us! We love seeing your creativity in action.
We also took lots of photos during the event and the light-writing workshop! They are all in our gallery. Our future projects and participants will be added to our ever-growing gallery, so snap away!
Going forward, we are Sparc! We are still the same people, same passion, same purpose — to ignite, engage, and inspire young people — but now you know what to call us. We will be applying our beautiful new visuals across our production and promotional materials. As well as a sense of identity, we hope this will help push us forward into new ground in the future!