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Robot Food

Dealing with debt

What we did:

  • Brand Strategy
  • Creative Strategy
  • Verbal Identity
  • Visual Identity
  • Brand World
  • Art Direction
  • Brand Guidelines

The Brief

We’re committed to creating a society free from problem debt, but rather than the last resort, we need to become the first port of call for a new generation.

The Insight

Modern banking has made our finances more accessible than ever, but the world of money remains murky for most. Personal finance is still a taboo subject and not a language everyone speaks confidently. Add in the pressures of societal stigma and we can hold back from seeking the help we need.

The idea

Debt gets treated like a dirty word, let’s clear up the stigma.

For over 30 years, StepChange has offered free, impartial debt advice and solutions to anyone needing help. Rather than public donations, StepChange relies on funding from the government and creditors. As the largest provider of debt management advice in the UK, as well as campaigning for policy change at government level, they play a crucial role in our society.

Checks and balances. The brand had to speak in an impactful and accessible way with potential clients, but it must also communicate effectively with creditors, establishing itself as a leading authority they can put their support behind. They also need to inspire their internal teams to pursue their mission — all while remaining impartial in a heavily regulated industry.

Step Change Overview

Inspiring action. We created a suite of illustrations that act as visual metaphors for debt and money-related worries. Sitting alongside common turns of phrase (with a StepChange twist), the messages reflect how people feel and talk about debt – helping to normalise the issue and start a positive conversation.

Step Change Billboard

Your ‘turn-to’ friend. Much of the language around debt either speaks in platitudes or dwells in the negative, which only contributes to the stigma. To cut through, we gave StepChange a voice that’s the perfect balance of reassuring and proactive. They’re a friend of action who speaks with warmth, encouragement and a solution focused outlook. Real talk and real support.

Step Change Billboard 3 1 v2
Step Change Billboard 2 1

“To help break the stigma surrounding debt and start a conversation, we had to go against the stereotypical semiotics of ‘charity’ and present a fresh, more engaging aesthetic. Our visual style is more akin to modern fintech brands, helping us appeal to a broader audience.”


RF Portraits 2022 Ryley
Step Change Photo 1

Reality in check. We created, commissioned and art directed a new photography style for StepChange that’s warmer, more welcoming and, most importantly – real.

Step Change Photo 2
Step Change Photo 3
Step Change Photo 4

“Debt shouldn’t be a no-go subject and StepChange work tirelessly to make sure it’s not. From the free, impartial help they offer, to the policy change they campaign for – we had to make sure that this foundation of positive proactiveness was communicated; tackling the worries, misconceptions and stereotypes head on.”

Senior Creative Strategist

RF Portraits 2022 Nat

A window into real lives. We incorporated framing devices and iconography to add ownability to the photography and tie it back to the new illustrative style.

Step Change Photo Frames2
  • Step Change Photo 5
  • Step Change Photo 6
  • Step Change Photo 7
  • Step Change Photo 8

Making it personal. We captured people and their lives in a relatable way that didn’t feel cheesy or contrived, to show that problem debt can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time.

“StepChange were firm believers in our creative vision and ability to execute it. That trust was essential, especially as we were dealing with such a sensitive and complex issue, and it allowed us to create an ownable brand that we’re all proud of building together.”

Account Director

RF Portraits 2022 Libby
Step Change Website

Fluent in modern money. StepChange needed to be approachable, understandable, and accessible for all audiences, across all channels. Our approach required flexibility in application and adherence with all financial and accessibility regulations, whilst maintaining a strong brand imprint.

Step Change Merch 2 Tee
Step Change Merch 1 Bottle

As Featured On:

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“Through our work with Robot Food, our brand now speaks the language of modern money, and we’re ready to help even more people achieve their financial goals by resolving their debts. We’ve loved working with the team at every step of the journey and can’t wait to put all of the great work into action.”

Rebecca Drury
StepChange — Marketing Manager

Step Change Previous Design