As the evenings grow lighter this year, so does Soka. As they take on a whole new look, so will we.
An origin story
Soka became a limited company in 2017. But really, it was born two years before that, when a frustrated young designer (that’s me!) who felt like a cog in a machine quit her job with no safety net, and took a risk to go it alone. It worked - but so did I. Non stop, in fact. Demand grew faster than I could keep up with, so I had to take on a team, one by one. Then one night, in a dive bar in Prague, the name for Soka was born. The next morning - battling a sore head - I bought a notebook and sketched out Soka’s first ever logo. It was real.
Small but perfectly formed
For the first time in my life, I was hiring a team. It was really real. Five years later, I’ve brought together designers, developers, accounts - today we’re a six-strong (soon to be seven) band with a global roster of freelance talent. It wasn’t just the team that grew in that time; we acquired wonderful loyal clients. Clients I’ve worked with since 2015. We built expertise in heritage estates, cosmetics, high-end personal branding and legal. We learned what it meant to work together, to truly be a team - through good months and quiet months, through team changes and a pandemic.
A new chapter
And now it’s time for a change. Not a re-brand, per se, but a new look. Soka has always been design-led, values-driven and client-focused. But I spent so long thinking about how our clients presented themselves to the world, that I forgot to check in on our own branding. And when I did, I didn’t recognise us. So now as the seasons change and the team grows, it’s time for a new look.
Designer, brand thyself
How better to see what your clients see, than to articulate your new look with your own client briefing form? And how to ensure the result reflects the whole team’s vision of their agency, than to ask them to lead the work? For the first time, I got to be the client. And you know what? I see why you guys stick around! The result is an honest, truly collaborative identity for Soka that reflects the work we do, and makes each of us proud to work here.
The work we do…
We believe in the power of simplicity. So this look mirrors the work we do best: conceptual, design-led, minimalist craft. No frills, no conceit, no designer’s ego. We listen to our clients - really, properly listen - and then distill the values of their business into its cleanest, most concentrated form. You bring the passion, we’ll give it polish.
…And how we do it
We don’t work late nights or through our weekends. I won’t ask my team to drop their plans to prep for a pitch, or cancel dinner because a deadline moved. We respect each other, and ourselves, as much as we respect our valued clients. And our “anti-agency culture” allows us to pour more passion into our work - because our own cups stay full.
Because I when I decided to go it alone, I knew I didn’t want to be another cog in a machine. So I also didn’t want to build another machine. Instead, I built a team.
And now that team is here for you. For your branding, web and design challenges. To be an extension of your own team. To create refined, elegant work that elevates your business in the hearts and minds of your customers.
A clean new look, for the same Soka. Our second act.
Sophie, Founder & Director of Soka.