Clear Defendable Territory

Barnardo’s

Changing perceptions, changing children’s lives

Transforming the UK largest children’s charity at a critical time for children, young people and families

Barnardo’s has been supporting children, young people and their families for 150 years. The charity is a significant part of the UK’s culture, with 600+ high-street charity shops, 800+ specialist services in communities across all four nations and influence in the rooms where national decisions are made.

Despite being a household name, the perception of Barnardo’s amongst many adults was limited to children’s homes, and their research found that 50% of children and young people didn’t know Barnardo’s or how it could support them.

Barnardo's

The challenge

To evolve the brand and show that Barnardo’s really understands what it’s like to grow up in the UK today

In the 10 years since the charity’s last rebrand, life has changed. The challenges that children, young people and families are facing have changed. Barnardo’s needed to adapt and evolve to reflect that and leverage the brand to grow its reach and deepen its connections with children, families, carers, supporters, commissioners, government and local authorities, partners and local communities and everyone who matters.

Childhoods today are being shaped by the cost-of-living crisis, the lasting effects of the pandemic and the fact that life is increasingly taking place online. Millions of children and young people feel socially isolated, anxious about the world they live in, and more than ever are growing up disadvantaged.

The creative concept

We wanted to create a brand where every child could feel like they belong.

Why? Well, life can be tough. Especially for young people today. This is the core truth that the new brand is built from. In workshops, children and young people told us that it can feel like they have nowhere to turn and it’s easier for them to switch off from the world. And who can blame them?

So, we created the new brand with them – for them. It’s designed to do exactly what Barnardo’s as an organisation does – and help them feel safer, happier, healthier and more hopeful – whatever their background or circumstances.

The logo is a visual metaphor for a safe space where everyone can express whatever they’re feeling. Each letter captures a different emotion, held within the ‘safe space’ of the holding device.

We co-created the brand with kids using Barnardo’s services in Wales, Scotland and England. We gave them paints, pens and coloured paper to express things they’ve been going through and how it made them feel. Then we asked them to draw the first letter of their name in the same way too.

The new brand is the result of a year’s worth of work involving as many people across Barnardo’s as possible.

 

Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Barnardo's

The shapes, full of character and emotion, became a suite of graphic devices. And the letters became the bespoke typeface for the brand, and the basis of the logo. Each letter represents a different emotion – some positive and some negative – confident, sad, angry, silly, excited, stressed, loved and much more.

The tone of voice we developed allows Barnardo’s to show that they really understand what matters – both to individuals and on a national scale. And gives them a way to amplify the voices and experiences of a wide range of children, young people and families.

To create an authentic voice, we listened to and analysed the way support workers in services across the UK spoke to children and young people. The common themes and stylistic techniques found were woven into the tone of voice principles and guidelines.

Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Barnardo's

Launch and beyond

The brand platform and creative concept became the starting point for the national TV ad, which was developed in parallel as the brand by Don’t Panic. Launched on 4th March 2024, the ad was designed to build brand awareness and understanding of Barnardo’s and the purpose, strategy and brand identity.

We continue to work closely with Barnardo’s to fully embed the brand both internally and help all Barnardo’s people (all 7,500) buy into the brand and feel inspired and empowered to use it. We’re kicking this off with things like brand inductions webinars and design and tone of voice workshops. And externally, across their 600+ charity shops, staff offices across all four nations, children’s centres, the website and various digital platforms.

Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Barnardo's