Case study: Sightsavers

A new vision for the brand as the charity reaches its 60th birthday

Sightsavers works in 34 developing countries to prevent blindness and campaign on behalf of visually impaired people. It has fundraising offices in the UK, Ireland and Italy.

Founded in 1950 as the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind, the charity works with a range of local partners. They provide specialist treatment and eye care, and support blind people by providing education, counselling and training.

At the end of 2008, a strategic review of the charity recommended strengthening these partnerships, creating new alliances and increasing engagement with governments. The organisation decided to create a new brand identity that would reflect this mission and increase awareness of the charity during its 60th birthday celebrations.

The approach

After pitches from three agencies, Sightsavers chose Saatchi & Saatchi Design, which had experience of working in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, to develop the brand. The creative process was informed by internal research with staff from 20 country offices examining the identity of the organisation and its future direction.

The proposals

The new logo shows two rings linked to symbolise partnerships and form an eye shape. The rings are in a hand-drawn style to reflect the practical and human nature of the charity's work. The bold colours are designed to make a strong impression and the gold shows the warmth of the organisation. A new font has been chosen to make the logo easier to read. Sightsavers has dropped the 'international' from its name because this aspect of its work is well known and a shorter name was seen as having more impact.

The effect

The charity held workshops, presentations and web seminars on the new brand. Sue Adams, head of marketing at Sightsavers, says involving staff helped to generate a positive response.

Supporters were introduced to the rebranded materials through the Sightsavers News magazine at the end of February, before the general public saw it. The existing website will be updated to use the new colours and logo in early March, and other materials will be introduced throughout the month.

EXPERT VIEW - VICKY HOAD, ACCOUNT DIRECTOR, BLUE ROCKET

Sightsavers is a tremendous organisation with a long tradition of fine work. A distinguished history can make rebrands difficult, because it makes it hard to encapsulate past achievements and the diversity of the charity's work.

I think this rebrand succeeds.

The new logo's striking design has a lovely clarity, which is particularly resonant for a blindness charity.

It's much more effective than the charity's previous visuals, which didn't have the same impact. The fading colours on the old logo appear to suggest sight loss, but Sightsavers helps to fight against blindness, and the new logo gets this more positive message across.

The logo itself is only one part of the bigger task of updating perceptions and reflecting the charity's work, and I am interested in knowing more about how Sightsavers plans to achieve this.

SCORE
Creativity 4
Delivery 4
Total 8 out of 10

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