Chatting with the experts: We talk to the brilliant brains behind the Whitefox rebrand.

By   Hannah Bickerton 4 min read

Our talented design team

Dana Reid: Senior Creative Dana’s skills range from conception and art direction through to brand creation and digital design. Starting in editorial magazines, she now works at a creative branding agency specialising in fashion, beauty and tech within the luxury landscape.

Jack Plant: Design Director Jack has almost 20 years of experience in the creative industries. Building visual identity systems through branding, packaging, design and illustration, he has crafted elevated design worlds within multiple markets across the TV, fashion, beauty, sport and lifestyle industries.


Q: When you first received the brief for the Whitefox rebrand, what were your first impressions? Did you instantly know the direction you wanted to take this in or did it take a bit of time to establish the right approach?

A: Our first thought on receiving the brief was intrigue and excitement. Publishing companies notoriously have fantastic branding. From the mid-1950s to the modern day, some of the most iconic logos are publisher ones. They are visual identities that we’ve previously studied and admired. Many encapsulate modern principles; brutalist, minimalist, geometric and notably the clever use of negative space. So we thought this was a great opportunity to contribute to the landscape.

Whitefox is already a loaded term, so it proposed a set of problems that we were excited to solve. Very rarely do you instantly know the direction you want to take with branding, it usually takes a bit of research to spark inspiration. However, this time, the magical lightbulb moment occurred instantly. As with all publisher logos, it needed to work in black and white as well as on the spine of a book. The mark is a literal interpretation of the name – it’s on the nose – but crucially is made of abstraction and negative space. The simple illustrative white fox became the key feature of the visual identity. Everything else was designed to simply complement the mark as it was so original and distinctive – it really propelled the project forward.

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Q: What is the role that branding plays in an agency like Whitefox? In your view as professional designers, what were the important elements that the Whitefox branding needed to be able to convey to its audiences and how did that impact the end result?

A: Publishing has a history of iconic brand marks. Think of the penguin logo and how it appears, its beautiful subtle placements. Books are cherished and revered and you don’t want to bastardise these beautiful objects that live in people’s homes. Authors and collaborators need to have confidence in the publisher, so it was important to appear professional, intelligent and trustworthy. But we also wanted to add a playful nature to the brand to come across as friendly and warm. This was very much the intention behind the mark but also the imagery. The art direction builds a visual world of storytelling. All imagery is inspired by or concentrated in elevated reading spaces, providing a sense of comfort and relatability to the audience.

Q: You intentionally avoided the use of a signature brand colour, which was an interesting decision. So often that can form an identifiable part of a brand. What were your reasons for doing so?

A: First and foremost we felt like the Whitefox brand mark was so strong that we wanted to maintain its integrity. A white fox is always white, it doesn’t change its colours. Even in the black lockup, the white fox is always white. So when the conversation regarding colour came about, we felt as though there was so much power in having a monochrome palette to remain authentic to the brand name and therefore decided against it.

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Q: With the absence of signature brand colour, the intention was that imagery would play a greater role in lifting the design. How did you envision the use of imagery to complement the main branded elements?

A: Instead of signature brand colour, we experimented with imagery and how that could bring the colour to communications instead. With such rich and diverse imagery coming from a range of different sources of varying publications, we felt as though these would nicely intertwine – yet not compete – with the brand mark. It gave more space and opportunity for Whitefox to stand apart and act as a platform or gallery to hero content, products and stories. The graphic mark provides discipline, functionality and cleanliness, enabling the colour to come through art direction, finding other ways to inject joy and colour.

Q: And finally, what is your favourite part of the Whitefox branding that you have produced for us?

A: Without a doubt, the brand mark. The cheeky white fox. How it crops up, unexpectedly, and surprises you. It simply makes us smile. How could you not love the white fox?

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Hannah Bickerton
Hannah Bickerton
Hannah has worked in marketing for nine years, specialising in strategy development for start-ups and EdTech companies. Having recently jumped across industries to join the Whitefox team, Hannah isn’t a complete stranger to the publishing world with previous employment at Macmillan and TES Global. She is now dedicated to ensuring that anyone who has something interesting to say knows all about whitefox.