Branding a children’s brand that is changing the face of children’s literature
Maddy: Design and Creative Direction
Mac + Moore: Project Lead
Sophie Says is a children’s book series that includes exciting and uplifting stories for children featuring diverse characters that combats stereotypes and makes life’s most important lessons fun to learn. Sophie Says is changing the face of children’s literature.
Imagine a world where children grow up never doubting whether they are included…
Sophie Says is providing a go-to trusted toolkit for parents and people looking for gifts for little ones with characters they’ll want to be best friends with. Sophie Says is the only children’s brand that has been built consciously from the ground up, enabling children to bypass harmful stereotypes and see the world as it should be.
The brand identity was crucial in building the Sophie Says brand in the most conscious and inclusive way from the ground up. I worked with Mac + Moore to establish the brand proposition and identity for Sophie Says in the hope that one day, it will become a mainstream children’s brand with inclusivity at the heart.
Because I want to make life’s most important lessons fun to learn for the next generation
Founder Esther’s ‘because’
The challenge +–
Author Esther first approached myself and Mac + Moore to work with her on the social media strategy and design for Sophie Says Instagram. This initial project quickly evolved into creating a brand identity and proposition for Sophie Says. With the onset of the global pandemic in 2020, founder Esther saw a real need to address subject matters such as mental health and self-belief in her books and we set to work helping her create the brand that would do just that.
Launching with one book ‘Sophie Says I can, I will’ in 2019, the challenge was to create an identity for the brand that fitted in with the existing book and illustration style, but that lives and breathes as a brand beyond just the books. The task was to help future-proof Sophie Says to have the potential to grow and evolve, but also remaining recognisable to children and parents alike.
The solution +–
The solution was to create a logo and brand mark that was instantly assimilated with the existing book but that could work on other touch-points. My approach was to have the main character, Sophie front and centre of the identity. Having a character visually attributed to the brand helps children to be able to define and distinguish our brand over others. Mascots are an important way to establish a relationship between children and a brand.
Before the age of 3 children are able to recognise brands, with the brands visual elements being the first elements perceived by the child. Having this character association also allows the brand to be easily recognised by children, even before they can read.
Through re-drawing Sophie in this style allows for the character to live and breathe beyond the books. She is still recognisable and will be associated with Sophie from the books but it allows the brand to become bolder and more usable across different mediums.
It was also important to have a typographic option for the brand that can be used when required. It also allows more flexibility and a more ‘adult’ version of the identity that could be utilised when the brand is not communicating directly with children.
Working with Maddy is always such a fantastic experience. That’s why I keep coming back for more. Maddy has a unique skill of understanding exactly what the brand mission is and brings it to life through design. Everything she has created for Sophie Says has been exceptional and exactly what we were trying to create, to bring the message alive and stay true to the brand. Every time I blown away with the outcome of Maddy’s design and would without a doubt recommend Paiv Creative to anyone looking for any design work.
Esther Marshall – Founder & Author: Sophie Says