Designing for charities

Sherlock News

Talking clearly

There is an obvious benefit to charities having a recognisable brand, no matter how small the organisation. Budgets aside, the likes of larger charities such as Macmillan, WaterAid, and Unicef still have to talk in a simple and clear voice which helps us identify them easily.

Not every charity has the power of its larger peers in raising awareness. But being more design-conscious when thinking about how to raise their profile and having a straightforward dialogue with their audience can assist charities when trying to generate revenue. Owning a credible identity can help increase their chances of competing and prospering.

Case Study

For many years The Mulberry Bush School, a small specialist residential school in Oxfordshire existed without any notable identity, the school was just a school, and that was that. Five years ago we were asked by the school to create an identity for them. It was a simple job with zero budget, done for the love of it.

Since then there has been…
– An annual increase in referrals.
– The fundraising revenue has increased each year since.
– It is now a training centre for teachers.
– It is now a business consultancy generating an independent income stream.
– It has become the founding partner of a National Centre of Excellence.

This case study illustrates the importance of having invested in a clear visual language that has enabled them to define their identity, attract investment, create growth and become the ‘go to’ charity for their specialist subject.


“Since Sherlock began our rebranding, the Mulberry Bush Organisation has raised more money, has increased children’s referrals from Local Authorities so that we now have a waiting list, has attracted celebrities such as Jemima Khan, and Jeremy Paxman to help us, and has hugely raised our profile among the professionals.” Jane Smiley – Communications Director

Looking ahead

Being a ‘not for profit’ charity isn’t just about raising money but also about becoming an authority in its specialist area. The Mulberry Bush School now sits at the top of the class because we helped it to build the tools to fight the fight. There are hundreds of other charities out there that deserve better and The Mulberry Bush School proves why. Taking the first steps needn’t be a terrifying concept. Starting small and building up slowly will help prepare for a strong future.

Share Insight

  • Euan Sey, Founder and Commercial Director, Curry Leaf Cafe

    “They’re an easy bunch to work with, have a great knowledge of the sector and give 110%.”

  • Ruth Timmins-Williams, Brand Experience Manager, Tesco

    “Working with Sherlock is always a pleasure, the ideas keep coming and the energy remains unphased...”

  • Dan Dixon, Sales Director, Exhibitions, William Reed Business Media

    “They were flexible, great to work with, and the result more than met our expectations.”

  • Nick Cooper, Founding Director of Crunchy Critters

    “The team’s extensive knowledge of the food & drink sector really shone through and they went above and beyond...”

  • Sam Hepworth, Head of Communications and Digital Media, Whizz-Kidz

    “Sherlock rose to the challenge and provided us with several initial concepts that were all so impressive that we struggled settling on just one.”

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