Unreal brand identity design

Independent creative agency Unreal has unveiled a new look following seventeen years in the industry. The rebrand, visualised through a striking new flying pig marque and bold orange colour palette aims to reinforce the company’s approach to producing unreal creative with real results.

Making a mark

The agency has a strong heritage in branding, advertising, print and digital and at the heart of each and every project lies a creative idea. We wanted our new look to focus on this from the very outset. We began by exploring mythical ‘unreal’ creatures to form part of the updated identity for the agency.

From unicorns to mermaids, the one that stood out the most was the flying pig. It symbolises the very essence of what it means to be Unreal, pushing our creativity as far as possible and delivering results for our clients that are beyond expectations. It emphasises that even the simplest of ideas can take flight and go the distance.

Similarly, we try not to take ourselves too seriously and are always keen to inject some fun into the creative process. The Unreal team is a diverse mix of talented, happy people – no big egos, no stereotypical designers. The flying pig is a nice metaphor for this.

Unreal brand identity design
Logo evolution: The pig quickly evolved into its final form.

Our initial pig development was too symbolic and graphic, looking rather more like a dog than a pig in retrospect. It needed more ‘Awwwww’ factor, so we refined it into the more rotund, happy chap seen in the final identity.

Unreal brand identity design
Final identity: More rotund and simplified, the final flying pig with the wind in his ears.

Making ideas fly

Alongside the identity, we have introduced a new strapline to position us as an ideas business rather than merely a design and advertising agency. Born out of the pig marque, ‘Making ideas fly since 1995’ aims to highlight a heritage which has scooped the company awards for both creativity and effectiveness.

Unreal brand identity design
Strapping chap: The pig and strapline together.

Making an impact

The combination of a new headline font and a striking new orange and grey colour palette helps to ensure the brand is taken seriously. Futura BQ Extra Bold Oblique was selected for its solid values, helping to balance out the wit and playful nature of the pig.

Unreal brand identity design
The Futura’s Bright: Futura BQ Extrabold Oblique forms a solid part of the identity system.

Alongside the new font and colours, a range of icons have been created to highlight the unique selling points of the agency, from our heritage to our sponsorship of a Naked Mole Rat. These icons form the foundations of our website and credentials documents.

Unreal brand identity design

Unreal brand identity design
Icon suite: The suite forms the foundations of credentials documents and the website.

Making a good first impression

With a strong print heritage, we wanted our business cards to make an instant and lasting impression while also trumping those of Paul Allen in American Psycho.

Unreal brand identity design
Business cards: 270gsm GF Smith Colorplan Pristine White duplexed to 540gsm, printed with Pantone 425. Foiled in Kurz Luxor 404 and edged in flouro orange.

As with the core brand, we needed to strike a balance between the humour of the pig and a more serious first meeting. This is again achieved through the use of bold typography and a smartly applied colour palette. The cards were expertly printed by Generation Press with foil blocked lettering and flouro orange edging, to ensure they are attention grabbing.

Unreal brand identity design
Business card: Printed by Generation Press.

Making a lasting impression

To allow the idea to fully take off we set about updating every piece of communication within the business. Everything from business cards to invoices and from placement letters to our website was completely updated and injected with an element of fun and a playful tone.

Unreal brand identity design
New website: A new website featuring recent work is now live at www.unreal-uk.com.

Unreal brand identity design
Creds Documents: A tongue-in-cheek approach to strategy – the Unreal rainbow.

Unreal brand identity design
Communications: Letterhead (left) and placement payment form (right), which uses a direct, playful tone of voice.

Unreal brand identity design
Communications: Online advertising for our summer placement scheme.

Unreal brand identity design
Rubber stamp: The flying pig is a playful motif for outgoing mail.

Unreal brand identity design
WeTransfer: The WeTransfer page offered an opportunity to push the identity further.

Unreal brand identity design
Brand posters: Digitally printed on Waitrose Essentials Greaseproof Paper (we spent all our budget on the
business cards).

View more work on the Unreal website and follow them on Twitter.

Unreal elsewhere on Identity Designed: The People’s Supermarket.


Hello Mr. Airey!

I have been a graphic designer for a few years now (mostly jumping from internship to internship… to bartender and now back to the field) and have just recently received my first freelance logo design project. Though I’ve been following your blogs for some months now, I wanted to finally come out and express my gratitude. Your blogs, particularly ‘Identity Designed’ have been a continuing source of inspiration and guidance for me. When I was first commissioned for this new identity project, your book ‘Logo Design Love’ was the first book I picked up. Thank you again for your continuing dedication to this wonderfully creative and exciting field.

Ashley S. Carter

That’s one beautiful pig right there :)

The colours used are fantastic also, I’m very much a fan of yellow right now, and also the use of manilla paper.

Fine example of a well thought out and executed concept!
I am a semi-retired Art Director/Designer with over 45 years experience.
Corporate Identity/Branding design has been the most rewarding in terms of
enjoying the creative process, execution and application. Thanks David for
your ID blog! It’s always enjoyable to view!

Thanks, Ashley, John. Although it needs to be said that I wouldn’t publish these posts if it wasn’t for the kind folk contributing their work, as well as the lovely people like you who drop by and share opinions.

Stunning. Love the concept, brand color, typography and the execution is great. I appreciate that they showed most of the applications of the identity. Very well thought out.

I like that a lot – it’s very playful and I like the imagery. The website is very nice, too (although the link titles on hover are initially confusing and perhaps not necessary on every link).

I’m not sure that orange and grey is ‘striking’ or ‘bold’, but the two colours selected are very complementary and the overall look is great.

I’m a bit confused by the implication that the flying pig would lead people to not take the agency seriously, though. The agency’s work speaks for itself in my opinion – it’s all very impressive and excellently executed – so if people are put off by a lovely, playful logo, they’re not the kind of people I’d want to work for.

The other thing that strikes me about the implication is that it gives me the impression the agency isn’t 100% comfortable with the playfulness of the pig (I am probably well wide of the mark, but saying things like the ‘colour palette helps to ensure the brand is taken seriously’ and ‘we needed to strike a balance between the humour of the pig and a more serious first meeting’ sews a tiny seed of doubt in my over-analytical, slightly cynical head). The people who work in the agency are clearly smart, talented people with a good sense of humour – exactly the kind of team I’d want working on any project. That comes across – to me – through the whole brand, and I think it’s great. I don’t see any need for explanation.

But these are tiny quibbles. All in all, I love it.

I like the porker but on the card, why have a tag line? Seems unnecessary. A bigger pig would have been more entertaining, the tagline just brings it back down to earth and ends the conversation. Sometimes it’s about what you don’t say that makes something memorable; like the unfinished joke in the Breakfast Club.

The reverse is ham fisted. The very first thing I thought when I saw it was “so if someone has a long name then what?” This shouldn’t be the first thought you have when you see a business card but it came clattering down like a ton of bricks. It’s a small thing but it’s just something that shouldn’t be an issue on such a simple bit of business collateral. The names are just a touch too big, smaller would give you so much more flexibility.

And then there’s the posters and the website. In isolation the cards, the posters and the website all look mighty fine. Put them together and whatcha got? You got ze Frankenporker, a lumbering uberpig which will have the locals searching for flaming torches and pitch forks quicker than you can say a”Apfelmus”. I just don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, I do like it but I don’t like it all together, in the same space, it just looks wrong. My gut feeling is that the website and the comms sheets are going in the right direction and have the right ingredients but the biz cards and the posters are the runts of the litter.

With regards to Nicolas’s comment about the similarity to another design. Damn the internet. There’s no escaping it is there? It’s too close for comfort but easy enough to ignore.

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