Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity

Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity

A new brand and positioning to increase impact for seriously ill children across the UK.

Working with the Brand Narrative team at Pentagram, led by Ashley Johnson and Ruth Jamieson, built on a brand strategy developed by Impero. With Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR), led by Tom Gould, bringing the brand to life through motion and supported by the charity’s in-house team who managed the delivery.

Collaborators
Pentagram
Jones Knowles Ritchie
Impero

Deliverables
Brand Architecture
Visual Identity
Brand Narrative
Motion Guidelines
Motion Toolkit
Guidelines and Toolkits
Design System
Guardianship
Campaign
Art Direction

Context

Since 1852, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has specialised in treating children with rare or complex illnesses. While the NHS covers day-to-day running costs of the hospital, GOSH Charity’s fundraising supports groundbreaking research into children’s health, cutting-edge medical equipment, child-centred medical facilities and support services for children and families going through the toughest journey of their lives.

“At GOSH Charity we fund lifesaving research and life-changing services that help give seriously ill children the best chance and best childhoods possible. We are helping to progress new treatments and cures every day, as well as providing vital support like free accommodation for families who face the unimaginable.”

Emma Guise, Director of Marketing and Communications at GOSH Charity.

A refreshed brand identity

The processes of bringing childhood right into the heart of the brand involved comprehensive consultation and collaboration. Around 3,500 stakeholders ranging from patients, families and staff at GOSH, to the charity’s employees, high value donors and corporate partners, and members of the public were all involved so the refreshed brand resonated with all target audiences. By amplifying the voices of children and families at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the new brand puts children’s lived experiences front and centre – from the joy and play that happens every day at the hospital, to the harsher realities for families facing the unimaginable.

Developed under the ‘Courageous Champion’ archetype, the brand identity draws on the iconic logo’s heritage, originally created in 1987 for the Wishing Well Appeal and inspired by a patient’s drawing. The updated logo retains its charm and authenticity while introducing elements for a distinct, digitally native identity system.

Accessibility was a key focus, resulting in a modern, inclusive, and distinctive identity. The refreshed logo features a fresh blue as the central colour, ensuring consistency across brand touchpoints and enhancing recognition. Photography plays a crucial role, capturing real childhoods of GOSH patients through spontaneous, unposed moments using natural light to highlight textures and subtle details, bringing these narratives closer to home.

“Our refreshed identity, designed to be more accessible, inclusive, and digitally enabled, symbolises the progress we’re driving for seriously ill children and underscores the collective role we all play in realising it. By empowering us to be more relevant, we aim to inspire both our current and new audiences to engage with our cause. Patient families at GOSH have been central to our decision-making process; their call for boldness and acknowledgment of the harsh realities of serious childhood illness resonated deeply. Furthermore, our unwavering focus on childhood and our pivotal role in protecting every aspect of it guided the essence of our new look and feel,”

Emma Guise, Director of Marketing and Communications at GOSH Charity.

“We saw an opportunity to create a design system that leveraged the love and character of the original sketch. The concept throughout the identity is to embrace the energy of a child’s drawing; the charm and mistakes that this can bring – when harnessed carefully it can make a distinct and positive identity system that is recognisable through its entire personality, not just the logo”

Stuart Gough, Creative Director

A new tone of voice

As part of the brand refresh, GOSH Charity is also unveiling a new tone of voice and core brand language. The new voice emphasises collectivism, championing everyone who contributes to the charity’s impact; determination, reflecting the charity’s commitment to ensuring no childhood is lost to serious illness; and a child-centred approach.

“It’s always been important to Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity to tell the real stories of the children and families who are welcomed by GOSH each year. Together we’ve built on these foundations, translating the strategic platform into a fresher and more confident verbal identity that can advocate, challenge, champion, change things and bring new and existing supporters closer to the vital work they do for seriously ill children. We wanted to tune our ears to the authentic voices of GOSH kids and their families, so you’ll see and hear more playful, child-centred language in the tone of voice. You’ll also notice a braver and more direct authenticity in the copy, unafraid to share some of the challenges and harsher realities faced every day,”

Ashley Johnson, Head of Brand Narrative, Pentagram

A new motion identity

New animal illustrations, inspired by the ward names at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and unique to the charity’s brand identity, represent the collective efforts of the “doers” who are transforming the lives of seriously ill children under the hospital’s care. When animated they give a sense of movement and togetherness as well as representing the fun and playful spirit at the heart of the brand’s renewed focus on childhood. The ability to animate the animal characters, as well as the new brand assets, has been a key consideration throughout the project, as the charity looks to create greater impact on digital channels.

“Teaming up with Stuart, Pentagram, and the talented in-house brand team at Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, we crafted the brand’s first ever motion identity. This versatile identity, designed with a dynamic tonal range, seamlessly adapts to all channels, complementing the brand’s distinct assets. Motion plays a pivotal role in this project, enhancing emotional connections and storytelling capabilities. With these new motion tools, the charity can now spotlight the needs of the children and families they support with unprecedented impact.”

Tom Gould, Creative Director Motion at JKR

“We’re hugely excited by what our refreshed brand will enable us to do, better communicating our purpose and inspiring more people to join us in our mission. This will allow us to make a greater impact on the hundreds of children treated at GOSH daily, as well as those with rare or complex illnesses worldwide. Because we believe no childhood should be lost to serious illness.”

Emma Guise, Director of Marketing and Communications at GOSH Charity

Creative Director:
Stuart Gough
Design:
Richard Clarke
James Wright
Brand Narrative, Pentagram:
Ashley Johnson
Ruth Jamieson
Ishaan Pamnani
Brand Motion, JKR:
Tom Gould
Chris Frost
Ella Marie
Lauren Hawker
Photography:
Liz Seabrook
Illustration:
David Vallade
Strategy, Impero:
Charlotte Willcocks
Research, Supernova:
Abi Morris

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