ISL Talent rebrand

ISL Talent are an independent Bristol recruitment agency with a refreshingly different mindset. Far from cold calling and forwarding CVs, they use a personal approach to help tech companies scale up with the best hires, finding the right fit to take their business further. Looking to champion a new era in recruitment and reflect their good-nature and ambition, they needed to clarify their purpose, and step up with a brand that was as positive and unique as they are.


After a turbulent period of changes and a global pandemic, ISL felt like they’d lost their drive and identity. First of all they needed to define their strategic direction internally so that a brand could be built around it and shared externally. A modern, contemporary visual identity was needed to create stand out enabling them to take their place amongst Bristol’s best loved and progressive businesses, as well as clearly positioning them as tech talent specialists.

The agency’s flexible recruitment options and collaborative way of working are a key USP and needed to be communicated simply and visually, with room for marketing creativity. Ultimately, ISL needed to be positioned as the good guys in an industry with long standing negative connotations and be presented as ally, advisor and mentor to prospective clients and candidates.

We wanted a collaborative partner, not a light touch cursory discovery exercise. We needed someone to involve the right people from the company at the right time in the process. Henry and I didn’t want the identity to come from us but from the individuals that make ISL.

We found that partner with Sue and her team. We love our new identity. I feel confident about the new brand direction – they’ve brought our brand to life, and with the team fully on board, we will keep it alive and kicking!

Alan Furley, Director, ISL Talent


We wanted to work in a way that reflected the way ISL work with their clients to build trust and insight. It was important to glean what drove their loyal and positive team and distil what created the special personality that so many clients testify to love.

Team members from all levels of the agency were invited into our brand discovery workshop, whether they had been there since the company started or they had joined the week before. Their insight and passion helped ensure we built the right purpose, tone and direction for the brand. Additionally we interviewed key clients to gain a deeper understanding of ISL’s unique offering and find out what was important to their audience. We also ran co-creation sessions where team members could contribute ideas directly to the rebrand, much in the same way that ISL operates in its recruitment process.

Once we had defined the personality, purpose and values of the brand together, we ran a ‘values in action’ workshop where these were tested and refined to ensure everyone was on board.


We suggested a move away from ‘recruitment’ and a brand name refresh to ‘ISL Talent’. In the tech sector, ‘talent’ is a much more fitting term to refer to skilled employees and instantly flags them as specialists in this niche, without the negative associations of recruitment.


Our brand idea was born directly from the new brand purpose: ‘To build great companies, by helping good people grow’, with a concept of diversely shaped building blocks stacking upwards, to denote the process of scaling teams. A suite of visual iconography was created, including a library of graphic building blocks that could be stacked differently, to reflect the breadth of recruitment services offered and the tailor-made approach, backed by simple infographics to demonstrate their innovative fee models. The style and bold agile graphic devices we chose reflect the modern tech category and SaaS world they operate in. Bright playful colours added a further layer of personality and an ownable palette. A natural warm photography style, featuring imagery of the team, alongside a combination of warmer serif style with a more contemporary sans serif helped us achieve a people-first look in tune with ISL’s ‘real and human’ brand archetype.

As well as walking the walk, we ensured ISL talked the talk with an aspirational, collaborative and youthful tone of voice. This voice was delivered across a range of upbeat and ambitious messaging that could be used across all their platforms to help shape a new more positive conversation about recruitment.

Furthermore, in order to assist their creative and able marketing team, we designed a multi slide sales deck showing the flexibility of the brand system and social media templates that give the marketing team as much freedom as possible to have fun and be playful.

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