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Why design matters more than ever in the charity sector
Blog / Creative

Why design matters more than ever in the charity sector

We look at some of our work with Living Streets and why design matters so much in the charity sector.
During my time at Pull, I’ve had the pleasure of working with multiple charity and non-profit organisations. Although all unique in their own way, I’ve noticed the one thing that unifies them all is impactful design. With over 185,000 charities in the UK all vying for much-needed donations, standing out from the crowd is more important than ever.
Brand and design can be such an effective and meaningful way of reaching your audience and, for these charities, getting your key message across in an engaging and eye-catching way can really make such a huge difference to the charity and the people they help.
Having an opportunity to make a genuine difference is one of the most rewarding parts of my job, especially when I see a piece of our work brought to life. Take for example, the recent work Pull did for our client, Living Streets. Living Streets are a UK charity that encourage walking and healthy travel choices. As part of a new initiative to get pre-school children walking to nurseries and pre-schools, Little Feet, we were asked to design some collateral to help support a pilot of this new venture.
Designed for 2-4 year olds (and their parents!), the aim of this new scheme was to encourage healthy travel choices from a young age. Pull were tasked to design fun, interactive assets based on the theme of ‘People who help us’ so that children can track their every day journey to pre-school using stickers and a wallchart. The assets were created to support the EYFS framework and Ofsted descriptors, so we had to ensure that not only were the Little Feet materials fun to use, but also educational.
This is where the importance of design comes in – if we took the wrong approach and the children didn’t engage with our designs they wouldn’t be as excited or eager to participate in the scheme, and Little Feet could have all been for nothing. No pressure then!
We began by exploring the theme of ‘People who help us’ and identified the characters that were featured on the materials. We wanted to choose relatable characters that children might see in their local communities – Postmen, Firemen, Teachers, Doctors and Lollipop men/women.

LF-Body-6-1.jpgWith the project aimed at younger children, the graphic style that we chose for this project was a simplified stylistic one that would be engaging to a younger mind -  lots of bright colours and a simple graphic style helped to bring these materials to life.

As you’ll see in the video below (cue cute children!), the pilot was a big success and the assets really well received by Living Streets, parents and most importantly the children! So much so, that Living Streets have asked us to work with them on a full roll-out of the Little Feet scheme.

But it isn’t just the lesser known charities for whom branding plays such a crucial role. Take for example Battersea Dogs and Cats home, who recently underwent a notable re-brand by design super-house Pentagram (who we had the pleasure of visiting in April for an inspiring talk).
Established way back in 1860, Battersea Dogs and Cats home is a charity with a long-standing history. This significant re-branding project demonstrates how refreshing design can capture new interest and inject some fun into even the most well-established institution. A re-brand goes beyond simply creating a new a logo, or a new website - it’s creating a new sense of self, which is of value not only the institution, but also to those who directly benefit from the charity, and its donors. Goes to prove that old dogs can learn new tricks after all!
If you’re a charity or non-profit organisation, we’d love to hear how we could help you make a difference.

Posted 16 May 2018 by Imogen Farnan