WORK: Low Carbon Hub identity by Fieldwork Facility

Low Carbon Hub is an Oxfordshire-based social venture that works with schools, businesses and local communities to create renewable energy projects which, in turn, can generate wider community benefits. To help move the company out of its initial start-up phase, studio Fieldwork Facility was brought in to overhaul the organisation’s identity and branding.

The new identity has been rolled out through various reports and publications, a manifesto and new website. (The updated logo is shown on the new-look business cards, below.) FF says that the intention behind the new typographic palette was to “encapsulate a human tone of voice with a pioneering spirit”.

A highlight of the new creative work is the use of ‘light-paintings’ throughout the communications. These text-based artworks were created with a ‘pixelstick’ – in several locations in local towns and villages – and photographed using a long exposure for the various LCH publications.

“A pixelstick is essentially a bank of 200 LEDs in a rod around two metres in height,” Fieldwork’s Robin Howie explains. “The pixelstick allows you to ‘light-paint’ long images – or, in our case ‘typographic’ images. How it works is a bit like carrying a giant flatbed scanner – just instead of scanning an image, it’s ‘painting’ the image; emitting one pixel at a time, cleverly rendering the whole image at walking pace.

“It was a lot of trial and error of me sprinting away from the camera and then dancing about in the dark to get this to work for typography,” Howie continues. “How the type sits in the image is a product of physically ‘painting’ the typography with light. Too much motion or walking in the wrong direction makes the type fold back in itself making it illegible. There was a lot of takes to get the right result – and a hell a lot of dancing in the dark and sprinting away from a camera to be far enough away to start painting!

“Behind the typography is a dashed line. It’s a visual device we called ‘the energy line’. The colour and sequence of the dashes allows the text to stand out from the urban environment and all the other lights in the area. This ‘energy line’ became a handy device used elsewhere in LCH’s branding.” 

“Underlying this approach,” Howie explains on his website, “is an observation that it is easier to understand energy by seeing how it is used, rather than being told how it is made.”

Creative Director/ Designer/Photographer/Copywriter/Typographer: Robin Howie/Fieldwork Facility. More images of the Low Carbon Hub project at