Brand report: St Dunstan's

The charity changed its name to Blind Veterans UK to clarify what it does

St Dunstan's rebrands to Blind Veterans UK
St Dunstan's rebrands to Blind Veterans UK

It's easy to understand why St Dunstan's wanted to rebrand itself. The charity, which supports blind people who have served in the armed forces, got its obscure moniker from the house where its work began.

The old St Dunstan's logo"We knew St Dunstan's was not a well-known brand and did not explain who our target audience was or what we did," says Andrew Jones, the charity's director of fundraising and communications. "We needed to attract more beneficiaries, so we have gone for a clearer, more obvious name."

That new name, Blind Veterans UK, was unveiled on 21 February and comes with a new logo, redesigned website and a campaign to attract new supporters and beneficiaries.

The rebrand reflects a change in the charity's constitution in 2000 to help people who have lost their sight since leaving the forces, as well as those who were blinded on duty. At the time, the change was not made explicit in its literature but the rebrand clarifies it, says Jones.

Blind Veterans UKThe rebrand took about two-and-a-half years. The charity's beneficiaries made more than 250 suggestions for the new name and focus groups of staff, beneficiaries, volunteers and potential donors helped pick the winner. Agency Spencer du Bois designed three logos that were also put to the focus groups.

The changes mean that the number of beneficiaries the charity supports will grow from 550 to 700 this year. It also hopes to attract younger supporters to secure its future funding. "We require long-term funding because some people coming back from Afghanistan are in their 20s and will be with us for 50 years or so," says Jones.

The charity expects the rebrand alone to raise an extra £7m over the next five years, which will more than repay the £200,000 it cost.

Logos by themselves do not raise profile, so the charity is launching its No One Alone campaign to bring in supporters and beneficiaries. The campaign, which will be promoted by advertising, via health professionals and through the charity's volunteers, asks people to tell friends and family with sight problems who have served in the military about the charity. "By being active in finding beneficiaries, people engage with the charity and are more amenable to supporting us financially or as volunteers," says Jones.


Jamie Watson, Managing partner, Pixel8

Jamie Watson, Managing partner, Pixel8The new name and logo give the charity a more national feel that is obviously very patriotic.

The name is easy to distinguish, set as it is on the red background. The logo also offers lots of opportunities for the charity to use parts of the flag across all kinds of marketing materials, helping to support and build the brand - see, for example, how it's being applied across the charity's website.

The only issue for me is that this is a portrait logo - for certain uses, the organisation might need a landscape version. Charity logos are often used at a small size on leaflets or posters, when applied as partners. This logo might struggle to be readable at such a small size.

I'd give this logo four out of five, not only for its design but, just as importantly, for the way it can be used across various marketing materials.


Creativity: 4

Delivery: 4

Total: 8 out of 10

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