Hackney Church is a dynamic, fast-growing church in East London. The ways in which they support their community and foster creativity are as diverse as the community itself – from operating one of London’s busiest knife bins to providing over 100,000 meals across East London this year alone.

To coincide with the completion of a multi-million pound restoration, we worked with Hackney Church to design a new identity that could flex across the breadth of their activities. From formal and often sobering occasions, to joyous celebrations.

First we designed a core symbol, taking inspiration from the building’s large stained-glass windows. But they’re not only a church – they’re also a gig venue, brewery, charity & apiary. So we also developed a series of symbols to introduce each area of work.

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Building on the core symbol, we developed a system that allowed the window device to be applied to layouts in different ways. This provided stretch and flexibility for a variety of communication styles.

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During our three-year project, Hackney Church grew rapidly, from 5 to 35 employees, and from 150 to over 500 members. They were no longer just based in Hackney – they were now a cathedral of creativity for all the people of East London. This vision became the focus for their launch campaign and weekly event programs.

Now with multiple Hackney Church locations, we designed a website to tie everything together in one place. With an editorial focus and a calendar, it makes it easy to stay up to date and sign up for events across the different locations.

We then built on this vision for the kids of East London. We created a unique identity for the weekly program that invites kids to explore faith, play games, and help support their local community.

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We also created a unique identity for the family program. Also a weekly program, it offers the parents of East London a support network that includes coffee mornings and initiatives such as clothes and toy swaps.

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In addition to the programs, we looked at how the identity could flex across different areas of the Church’s work. How could the brand be applied differently for sub-brands such as the brewery?

Having started with the building, the project now came full-circle. Working together with EBBA architects and production agency Family Ltd, we created wayfinding and signage for inside and outside the Hackney Church campus.

Over the course of this project we worked with a number of talented photographers and illustrators: Vicky Grout, Toby Thomas, Joseph Melhuish, Jay Cover and Thomas Hedger.

"OMSE are simply world-class. They have exceeded our expectations on every front. They just get it. And more than that, they deliver consistently, intelligently, and with a high attention to detail. I could not recommend them more highly."

Al Gordon, Rector of Hackney