Refreshing Standard Life's visual identity

Having launched a new brand style in 2016, Standard Life approached us to refresh their brand assets and styling, to embrace a digital-first, simpler approach to their communication and customer engagement. To do this, we refreshed each element of the brand toolkit one-by-one. 


To align Standard Life's values and purpose with their parent company Phoenix Group, whilst increasing relevance and engagement amongst their diverse customer base

The brand refresh is an opportunity to modernise, and ensure Standard Life stay ahead of the curve with their visual identity. With a focus on improving accessibility and diversity, we also evolved the brand toolkit to ensure communications are always digital-first.



Our brief was to develop a refresh of the visual identity of Standard Life. 

Research with customers informed the subtle changes to the brand refresh, as we worked through the toolkit updating the colours, typeface, tone of voice and template structures. 

Evolving The Golden Thread was an important part of the refresh, with research showing this is a well-recognised brand asset but that it could be used more effectively to provide even greater recognition. 

As a signature visual element, the Golden Thread represents the presence of Standard Life in the lives of customers to guide them towards a lifetime of possibilities. The brand refresh developed how this will be used in communications to both add greater impact and to make implementation simpler 

Building the photography bank with more everyday imagery helped increase relevance to customer’s lives and introducing illustration as part of the brand toolkit, adds differentiation to Standard Life’s visual identity.  

Photography and illustration presented unmissable opportunities for Standard Life to increase relevance with their customers by highlighting close to home moments, whilst also creating more visual content relating to ESG and societal change.   


Emperor is able to deliver creative, strategy and highly efficient delivery from the one team. As importantly, the process is enjoyable and the working relationship dynamic and collaborative.

I am delighted to be working with them again on the new Standard Life brand refresh and the take to market roll out.

- LAURA LAIDLAW, Head of Customer Marketing, Standard Life

The brand refresh was launched to strong reviews internally at Standard Life and in the industry press, with the rollout of the refreshed visual identity continuing into 2022. The team at Emperor are also working on the visual identity for Phoenix, Standard Life’s parent company, giving us the oversight to ensure both brands evolve together. 


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