There are over one million charity organisations around the world, all vying for attention, and seeking corporate partners and public donations to support their causes. With a network spanning 120 countries, the Save the Children brand had become inconsistent. It needed to speak up. Our challenge was to create a visual identity and complementary suite of brand guidelines to strengthen communications around the charity’s life changing work, and reach out to donors all over the world.
We delved into the history of the charity’s founder, Eglantyne Jebb, a pioneering British social reformer whose 1923 “Declaration of the Rights of the Child” underpins today’s UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Connecting Eglantyne’s inspiring vision with the work the charity does today, and its mission to “do whatever it takes to save children”, we set about creating a set of brand characteristics: compassionate, courageous, pioneering and outspoken. These characteristics form the basis of our new visual identity, photography style and tone of voice.
Let’s start with the circle – one of the brand’s most recognisable visual assets. We have given the circle a far greater purpose in communications. It can be used to frame a moment in time or an important activity, and plays a protective role by encircling the children in photographs. The use of the circle adds impact and emotional intensity to the image it contains, and provides visual consistency across communication channels.
Speaking of photography, we’ve introduced a new photography style to move away from the shocking, negative imagery often associated with cause charities, focusing instead on telling inspirational stories of saving, protecting and educating children all over the world. Our new tone of voice for written communications follows this style, and places emphasis on telling true, human stories in a heartfelt and compelling way, always with a sense of hope and proactivity rather than devastation and loss. Our new messaging system and typography highlights headlines and calls to action, and messages are conveyed clearly and with confidence.
Save the Children now has a united, global brand identity that can work across whatever communication channel it needs to – from websites and social media to print advertising and campaign posters, stationery to branded clothing, and everything in between – in any part of the world, and in any language.