Gendall unveils ‘buildable’ identity for retail company Sook

The new look, which includes animation, logo, website design, and photography, aims to help the brand fulfill its mission of “changing spaces for good.”

Cornwall-based design studio Gendall has revealed a “flexible” identity for Sook, which aims to convey the “vast number of possibilities” the retail business has to offer.

Named after a Persian market, Sook bills itself as a “revolutionary retail business model” that allows users to rent empty space on high streets by the hour.

Sook’s businesses are equipped with large digital screens, on which tenants can upload multimedia content for a unique or branded experience.

A “flexible framework”

At the center of the identity is a logo made up of four blocks. Each letter of the Sook name is housed in its “own space”, says creative strategic director John Lowdon.

It’s a reference to the different spaces that Sook offers to its tenants, he explains, but also to the “digital wallpaper” found in each of the apartments.

The Sook logo is then brought to life through animation, the blocks playfully twisting and spinning in the digital formats. Because of this, the typography was kept simple and legible, says Lowdon with a sans serif capital.

Lowdon says the logo’s “flex frame” can also be used elsewhere in the brand, for marketing or communications. The motion allows the wordmark to have other four-letter words, for example. One of the most common is “Book your stay”.

As the brand continues to grow, this wordmark will feature in signage across locations. Lowdon says the team is currently working on how the logo could be stacked, in the form of a traditional barber pole.

“We wanted people to be able to imagine their own version of a space”

Photography is an important part of identity, says Lowdon. A wide range of floor plans are used across the brand’s various touchpoints with the aim of showcasing the versatility of Sook’s spaces.

“We wanted people to be able to imagine their own version of a space,” he says. “There was a challenge in not sounding too prescriptive about what can be done with Sook’s spaces.”

For this reason, a multitude of uses are documented – from yoga classes and concerts to brand experiences and pop-up markets.

Pops of color found in photography are often associated with Sook’s color palette, which uses a dark navy blue as the base color and accents it with bright hues.

“Focused on people rather than technology”

Sook uses technology and data to better inform its actions – for example, it monitors footfall outside its units to determine when certain demographics are most present, and relays this to tenants.

But Lowdon says Gendall’s team was keen not to rely on traditional tech brand tropes for identity.

“Sook is still a very people-focused brand rather than technology-focused,” he says. “And we wanted that to show through in the branding.”

That’s why, instead of necessarily tech-driven imagery and copy, the brand as a whole “focuses on the possibilities,” he says.

What do you think of the Sook brand? Let us know in the comments below…

Anne G. Cash