PlaceCal logo on soft pink. The logo is formed of three parts, a map marker in cream with a clockface within it, the hands are in rich brown. The type beneath it is in a simple legible sans serif typeface, and beneath that in cream in all caps is the text The Community Calendar.

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An age friendly look for an ambitious calendar.

PlaceCal is a community calendar with the aim of reducing social isolation and positively affecting local neighbourhoods.

It came about as a result of age friendly research done by Phase at MMU which discovered there was a widespread misconception that there was nothing to do in the local area. PlaceCal aims to address that by enabling communities to connect and to discover what’s on.

Communicating all that however was proving difficult — an academic approach to a social situation needed a clear and friendly look to help folks connect and welcome a new tool and approach.

Client: Geeks for Social Change
Web Development: Geeks for Social Change

Working closely with Geeks for Social Change and Phase, we established a warm vibrant look which was both highly legible and engaging along with an identity and strapline which helped communicate quickly exactly what PlaceCal was all about.

We struck a careful balance with the overall brand which was not too retro, but used a warm soft vintage palette, with very clear and bold open source typefaces which could be used online and off with ease.

Three PlaceCal posters against cream backdrop, the posters are in three colour ways, soft pink, soft blue and soft green. Each have a strong serif headline promoting PlaceCal, with smaller details in the sans serif typeface. Logo and sponsors run across the bottom. The titles are Events & activities for all ages in your area, Tick tock, find out what's on near you, The community calendar that's run by you.

Alongside the branding Squid has been responsible for a lot of illustration to explain the process of PlaceCal and the reasons for PlaceCal and how it addresses known issues.

A flat graphic vector illustration against cream backdrop showing a diverse community and town scenery elements, trees, flowers, hills, clouds, houses, tower blocks, town hall, church, mosque, library, clinic interacting with arrows pointing playfully both into and out from a block representing PlaceCal at its centre.
An illustration showing three individuals accessing or maintaining PlaceCal on their mobile, desktop computer or tablet – the illustration is in a very simple flat graphic vector style against soft pink.
Six illustrations highlighting three issues and three solutions that PlaceCal faced and helps to overcome. People not working together, resolved by collective, not-for-profit ownership. Current software wasn't working, solved by Software built on existing tools. Tech skills were very low, solved by A training program that includes everyone.

Since the initial branding, Squid has remained closely involved, producing many pieces of print and illustrations to support the original pilot scheme of PlaceCal and beyond as it rolls out to new areas around the UK.

PlaceCal website homepage. A warm inviting page with lots of rounded blocks offering information about the project.
The PlaceCal website demonstrated in its responsive tablet state, the page talks about how it helps community groups.
The PlaceCal website demonstrated in various mobile states in three lozenges, highlighting the homepage, community quotes, and illustrated details of how it helps.

PlaceCal has gone on to win the AAL Smart Ageing Prize 2018 and was a finalist in the Nesta Tech to Connect Prize 2019 and is continuing to expand across the UK.

Squid created a strong visual identity for PlaceCal, gave excellent advice on both print and online comms and on how to get the most out of our budget. It was a pleasure working with them. We won’t hesitate to use them again.

Professor Stefan White
Manchester School of Architecture