Deep research. Confident design

A branding project for a growing investment house.

Phoenix Asset Management - Deep research. Confident design
Phoenix Asset Management - Deep research. Confident design


Phoenix Asset Management is a value investing firm. Having recently taken over the management of Aurora Investment Trust, they needed new branding to launch their new offer.

Phoenix go to great lengths in their company research. The team are voracious readers with an extensive library on business thinking. This in–depth research inspired us throughout the branding and design process.

Sparks’ opportunity was to build a new brand strategy for Phoenix and Aurora. To develop a visual style and language that would work for both brands, adaptable for their distinct offers.

We began with brand architecture. How would the brands interact with each other? How strong should the connection be?

For the logos, we drew inspiration from the pages of open books, bookmark ribbons, flames and the ribbon–like patterns of the Northern Lights.

The myth of the phoenix is an important metaphor for the business – they invest in businesses that others might see as failing, in the confidence that they will rise again. We developed a visual symmetry between the phoenix wing and the patterns of the aurora to link the two businesses, while keeping the identities separate.

Using an orange colour palette helps Phoenix stand out in the predominantly blue and black world of financial services. Aurora’s colour scheme reflects the vibrancy of the Northern Lights.

We also helped Phoenix communicate the right messages, in the right order, avoiding staid corporate language in their written brand foundation and website content in favour of a more candid approach.

Working to a quick turnaround, we created a full suite of brand assets for Phoenix and Aurora, including logos, websites, and stationery.

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  • We felt Sparks had a sound understanding of who we are and what makes us tick. You’d clearly done your research before coming to the table with ideas and solutions. After you presented our written brand interpretation, everyone came out saying we couldn’t have done it better ourselves. You’ve translated our wishes and thoughts into clear design.

    Gary Channon, CIO and Director
  • The process would have been totally different if we’d gone with another agency. You were responsive, dealing with any questions quickly and even helping us out of a sticky spot before our AGM. Working with Sparks has literally been a pleasure, and we’re extremely happy with the end result.

    Steve Tatters, Business Development Director