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Branding & website for Whitgift Care

Proving that branding for care homes doesn't need to be old and stuffy.

One of the best things about our job is that we get to learn about different sectors—one of those has been care homes. The Whitgift Foundation are a well established organisation in Croydon, founded in 1596, running three schools, a shopping centre, a carers' information service and three care homes.

The Whitgift Care branding and website

This project had a few strands to it—branding Whitgift Care, who come under the Whitgift Foundation umbrella and design of associated materials such as brochures, stationery, banners and website.

Example of the old branding
The old Whitgift Care brand style was dark, not engaging and used many similar design elements to other care homes. The uppercase identity was too authoritative, with no visual uniqueness or personality. The use of autumn leaves was felt to be too serious and had negative connotations to the end of life.

Research

To kick off the project we spent two days in Croydon visiting each care home, gaining a thorough understanding of the people at the homes, both staff and residents. We needed to learn what made these homes different, appreciate the history, experience the culture. We interviewed staff and residents across the three homes and researched into competitors.

This insight allowed us to make informed decisions about the new branding. We were able to offer a solution that was fitting to the values and culture of Whitgift Care. The goal was to create an identity and brand that was classic, understated, reflected high quality service, but also the fun and enjoyment the residents have.

Bluegg understood the brief immediately and got straight to the heart of the brand.

Catherine Shirley, Head of Marketing

Identity & branding

We created a simple, customised logo type which used FS Clerkenwell as its base. We created custom ligatures and made small changes to most of the letterforms to create better connections and flow. The final piece reflected the heritage and quality as well as the playfulness of the organisation.

Working with the beautiful FS Clerkenwell we made small changes to all the letterforms to help the characters work as a group.

Sketches and development of the new logo
Image showing the customisation of the word mark

The final identity is the logo type in a simple square that can be used as part of a design system, with an alternate version to be used on its own. The warm red primary colour is warm and inviting, while the secondary colour palette adds vibrancy.

During our research we found that most care homes have an icon of some kind related to nature as part of their logo—usually leaves. We stayed away from this as Whitgift Care wanted to be unique, like their offering. Brochures from other homes also made it clear that stock imagery was a popular choice for others. We worked with the marketing team to commission a photographer and draw up a shot list to create a library of custom photography.

Examples of the commissioned photography for the project
Examples of the applications of the brand
Images of early sketches, developing illustration style
To help inject personality and character into the Whitgift Care brand, we created a set of hand drawn illustrations. Each of the doodles related to a story we had heard during our research phase, and are used to bring the commissioned photography to life.

To add an additional brand element and introduce the playfulness, we developed a set of illustrations which help bring the brand and photography to life.

Images of the brochure design
Images of brochure spreads

As part of the project we also designed and built a new website for Whitgift Care. This was a great opportunity to bring together all the new brand elements in one place—the new identity, the beautiful photography and the quirky illustrations.

Images of the new website

Catherine from Whitgift Care said:

"When I was looking to appoint designers to re-brand our three care homes under the Whitgift Care name, I was looking for an agency who would not only add a new take on what is currently out there in the marketplace, but also be able to handle a tricky subject matter. Bluegg understood the brief immediately and got straight to the heart of the brand, delivering a bold new visual identity packed full of originality and most importantly—personality. Their customer service is second to none and I can honestly say that they have been a pleasure to work with."

We've been working with a number of The Whitgift Foundation companies for a long time now and this work for the care homes has been extremely successful. They approached us because they thought we could bring something different to the project. We think we did that!