Johnstone Credit Union

Following a Scottish Government initiative to support credit unions, Johnstone Credit Union (JCU) asked O Street to help them understand the mindset and challenges people faced with day-to-day finances. We sought to increase the number of folk joining by fully communicating the benefits of membership.

Johnstone Credit Union - People-focused logo on grey on a pink background. Designed as part of the rebrand by Scottish branding agency, O Street.

Worsening UK economic conditions and a dramatic rise in the cost of living have driven an increase in personal debt. This means there is a growing need for people to access new and better kinds of borrowing. Younger generations are navigating an uncertain future of work, housing and pensions and research highlights a need for education to help guide their financial decision-making.

Moreover, the JCU membership consisted 2:1 of over-fifties to under-fifties, so it was necessary to broaden and grow this demographic, ensuring the Union remains viable and relevant to the local community both now and in the future.

Strategic workshop by O Street. Image shows initial brand exploration and key considerations scribbled on top. Image is black and blue monotone.

With such a complex service and so many moving parts, we wanted to ensure we fully understood the issues JCU faced and what was driving financial decision-making in the community.

We partnered with long-time collaborators Creative Concern, a social & community-focussed practice in Manchester, and Scottish design researcher Jeni Lennox to interview and analyse the responses from a broad set of stakeholders and local people.

Armed with this research knowledge, we were able to plan our creative response with confidence.

Johnstone Credit Union animated logo. Pink on grey background

First of all, we redesigned the Union’s identity from the bottom up, creating a friendly new people-focused logo that was both distinctive and ownable.

JCU Community photoshoot with Credit union members in the Johnstone community. 4 images on a soft yellow background

Photography by Elaine Livingstone

From there, we built a full brand toolkit, social media assets and art-directed photography of local families for a multimedia campaign to raise awareness and grow the membership.


Johnstone Credit Union Marketing Campaign billboard poster in a street setting. Branding by O Street, Copywriting by Creative Concern

Creative Concern

Next up, we handed over the reins to Creative Concern—who built on the copy lines we’d tested in the research phase—to create and coordinate the marketing campaign.

The final piece of the puzzle was to place JCU’s offices at the heart of the community. Cue a smart new paint scheme and bespoke branch signage celebrating the new identity on the ground.

Johnstone Credit Union Exterior building with logo decal on a mirrored window. Reflection shows O Street Designer, Neil Wallace taking the photo.

The result is a bold and unified visual presence, both physical and digital, which gave JCU  the confidence to talk to prospective members in a voice they knew would resonate with the people of Renfrewshire.

Oversized focus image on the JCU logo, designed as part of their rebrand by O Street. White logo on a print background.

Following the rebrand and marketing campaign, JCU has seen engagement across the community and there has been a positive effect with growth in membership in contrast to previous years when the numbers were declining. Seasonal drops in the amount of loans taken out has also improved.

Johnstone Credit Union is looking to the future knowing it can continue to support the local area with sound advice and solid financial services.

Johnstone Credit Union Marketing Campaign billboard poster next to a train station map. Branding by O Street, Copywriting by Creative Concern

‘We really enjoyed the process and are extremely happy with everything, especially the logo – we love it!’
Margaret Bryce, Manager, JCU

‘The team and everyone we met in and around JCU were great people and a real pleasure to work with. It makes our day when we can help such a valuable service showcase what they do to a wider audience.’
Neil Wallace, O Street

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