Underdog #theunlawyers

Law firm rebranding: strategy, identity, communication

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do." – Apple.

There is a stereotype, that lawyers – are serious people in bold business suits, with golden pens, big time Word edits lovers. Underdog #theunlawyers deal with legal disputes, conflicts, and toxic assets, tear up the stereotype, by just existing on the market.

Underdog – is not just the name, it's a promise, philosophy, the principle. Unlike regular lawyers, the Underdogs balance the power, by shifting the situation itslef, not curing the symptoms, so that the client would benefit. The Underdogs are not afraid to enter the combat, when everyone is aginst them. The Underdogs have no fear. The see more than others, and check what they see from the other side. They're full of energy, creative and uncompromising.

Before working on the strategy, we had spent dozens of hours on the client interview process, strategic sessions, that looked more like a secret annual rebel meeting. We discussed different things: successful cases, favorite writers, business strategy, revolutions. We perfectly felt the rebellious spirit of our client and crystallized it in a brand idea "Beat the system": underdog – is the one who' not afraid to challenge the system. The idea of defying the dull, routine-like, unwieldy system, found its place in the "Underdog" naming and "the unlawyers" descriptor.

We realized that the idea should be followed by brand strategy; this is how we accepted the underdog strategy, based on the following principles: compete with yesterday's yourself, think outside the box, play aggressively. Underdog doesn't promise an easy win to his client but promises to fight to the end. Underdog offers to have a look at the conflict not from the flat looking side of the law, but from the side of possibilities, that occur if you take yourself out of the comfort zone, and use the other instruments.

It was obvious, that Underdog style should differentiate among other law-firms with Antiqua fonts, stampings, and partners names. A strict logo with a rigid monospaced font symbolizes going beyond the format and standard legal tools. The style is determined by bold shapes, provocative images that evoke an emotional response and street art aesthetics. Crafted underdog-glitch is the main style-forming element in a digital communication of Underdog.

Every single business card – is a bomb in a branding war. Add some colors, if you want.

Before starting the development of a communication strategy, we analyzed the communication of Ukrainian lawyers: legal events, comments in niche publications, posts about legal practices. And we came to the conclusion that it is not interesting to anyone except the lawyers themselves. Underdog communication – is a bright and unique content, that has zero chances to be associated with a dull law firm

Notebook – a multi-purpose instrument for work, a motivator and a cool present

Brandbook and notepad formats are the same for the reason. So, specific pages from a brand book can be rearranged into a notebook if necessary.

Branded illustrations are not random, they are also a continuation of the underdog approach in branding: you can take any photo from a photo-stock, even with a watermark, fuse a branded underdog-glitch on it and use it legally, now the copyright is not applied.

Strategy: Alexander Solonko, Gleb Petrov

Design direction: Vladimir Strashkov

Design: Maria Kotemako, Tania Avramenko, Veronika Syniavskaya

Motion design: Emile Gorodetsky

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