Sexwise posters
FPA and Public Health England
Messaging and Tone of Voice
Visual identity & logo design
Health charities

A sex-positive new campaign brand for sexual health charity FPA and Public Health England, with a fun, universal appeal.

IE Brand conducted stakeholder research to ensure the campaign’s audience had their say, before crafting the campaign’s messaging and tone of voice. We designed the new Sexwise logo and a modern, vibrant visual identity, brought to life online with a mobile-friendly website.

The brand won Gold at the Transform Awards Europe 2019, for Best Visual Identity in Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals. 

Visit the Sexwise website

Sexwise website shown on a mobile phone screen, with NHS and FPA logos and the relationships collage, headline says "Let's talk about sex!"
Mock up of a magazine showing a full page article on contraception on the right, with contraception collage on facing page
Audience co-creation and research

The FPA (Family Planning Association) had ambitious plans to create the UK’s leading brand for information and support on how to enjoy a safe and satisfying sex life. The campaign was to be supported by funding from Public Health England (PHE), and needed to be distinct from the parent FPA charity brand.

In order to drive behavioural change and deliver a measurable impact on public health and wellbeing, the campaign needed to win the hearts and minds of health professionals (GP surgeries, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, community services, public health teams, etc.). Crucially, it also had to resonate with a broad demographic: people of reproductive age (around 16-50), parents, and people with learning disabilities.

It was vital for FPA that the campaign be co-created through audience consultation. With a limited budget, relative to the intended reach of the campaign, IE’s approach was to do to enough research and consultation – through face-to-face or telephone interviews – to challenge internal assumptions. We spent quality time with a representative cross-section of the FPA’s key audiences to glean in-depth, qualitative insights. We spoke to twenty interview subjects – a mix of health professionals and members of the public.

This was followed by a wider, quantitative online questionnaire to test what we’d heard with a wider group of over 400 people, and provide a baseline from which to measure the ongoing impact of the campaign.

Sexwise collage illustrations
The brand has to appeal to a broad audience of 16-50 year olds as well as health professionals, so audience involvement right from the start was essential. IE delivered a comprehensive research piece which led to clear recommendations on brand positioning, messaging and tone, which were then tested out in workshops. We enjoyed working with the IE team and we're really delighted with the end result.
Bekki Burbidge Deputy Chief Executive
Brand messaging matrix created for Sexwise
Sexwise campaign brand shown in outdoor advertising - relationships collage
Naming, positioning and messaging

Following the research phase, IE made clear recommendations on brand positioning, messaging and tone for the campaign.

It was clear that the campaign needed to be bold and brave, with a friendly, approachable and inclusive tone. All messaging needed to be in plain English and 100% credible, drawing on partnerships and endorsements to give confidence in the campaign’s content, while avoiding being too clinical or using medical jargon.

Above all, the brand needed to be sex positive, not preachy or judgmental.

For the campaign naming, we brainstormed a range of names, then narrowed the list down to a handful of strong contenders, which were researched in more detail. The eventual choice of “Sexwise” was tested with health professionals and the public to ensure strong approval levels.

With the name and general direction of travel agreed, we agreed a set of design Success Criteria with the FPA, and let our creative brand design team loose to create a visual identity that would hit the spot.

Colourful vest top showing the relationship collage
Sexwise website showing 'Find a clinic' tool based on postcode location. On e mobile phone screen in a man's hand.
Creating a sex-positive brand

As with any IE Brand project, our brand designers each submitted suggestions for the Sexwise logo and visual identity. We selected the best of these, and the team then collaborated to create the final look for the campaign and accompanying website.

The result is a subtly suggestive Sexwise logo and a visual identity that uses vibrant colours, collages and background effects. The brand can be dialled up to portray a feeling of euphoria, energy and ecstasy, or dialled down when addressing the more serious side of sex.

The accompanying messaging matrix helps FPA’s marketers and content writers to strike the right personality and tone in comms. Sexwise uses punchy copy, with words that are fun, honest and straight talking, but that aren’t going to embarrass or offend anyone. It’s celebratory about sex – real sex, not the kind you see in the movies.

All this combines to create a sex positive, inclusive new sexual health brand that looks and sounds vastly different to a typical sexual health brand.

The new brand and website have elicited a fantastic response from health professionals and influencers, who have described it as “brilliant”, “well worth checking out” and “really rather gorgeous”.  

Extract pages from Sexwise brand guidelines
Guidelines, templates and website

IE Brand delivered a set of templates and comprehensive brand guidelines to enable FPA to police the new brand internally and with partner organisations.

Sexwise was brought to life online with a mobile-friendly website, featuring a user-friendly contraception tool, to help people make informed decisions about fun, safe sex.

Sexwise resource showing side by side comparison of different contraception options
Strong, striking and considered. Good naming work, good brand refresh and good audience consideration. A strong and vibrant brand, relevant to the charity's core mission, and it has rightfully received very positive feedback.
Third Sector Awards Judges
Sexwise contraception collage pattern
Sexwise website shown on a Mac screen
Over 500 referring websites, including over 65 NHS domains, 60+ charities, the BBC, Childline, and Elle magazine.
Brand enabled FPA to partner with PHE on their “Protect Against STIs” campaign.
GOLD at Transform Awards Europe 2019 for Best Visual Identity in Healthcare. Shortlisted for Third Sector Awards in Brand Development.