It’s not so easy to smile these days but 5 projects on the NODS shortlist for brand and digital design helped us this week. Well done Team StudioLR and our clients Spentwell, Sanderson, Life Changes Trust, and The Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust.
Category / For Society
The Independent Care Review was set up to identify and deliver lasting change in Scotland’s care system. As the first review of its type anywhere in the world, it promised to put care experienced children and young people at the heart of its recommendations, leaving a legacy that will transform their wellbeing.
The Care Review evolved and learned through four key stages of work, each guided and informed by the findings of the previous stage. In three years, the Care Review heard from over 5,500 people – including 2,500 care-experienced children and young people.
Love became a key theme. We heard how children and young people wanted to grow up loved, safe and respected. And we’d heard the First Minister say that “My view is simple: every young person deserves to be loved.” It was groundbreaking for love to be talked about so much in a sensitive review of this kind – it was important that we embraced that. We had to build an inspiring and positive identity with love at its heart.
Strategy and Design
At the outset, we held virtual design workshops with care-experienced children which informed the development of a distinctive brand identity system using simple language, icons and visual elements. In addition, the identity had to be capable of evolving throughout this dynamic process, to help build awareness, ownership and momentum.
To succeed, the Care Review identity needed:
- To be embraced by care experienced children and young people, and people working in the care system. Their voices were pivotal to its success. The identity had to be positive, uplifting and completely non-stigmatising. This would help build pride in people, encouraging them to take part, voice their opinions, and share the message far and wide.
- To be embraced by people from all political allegiances. Although launched by the First Minister, it was essential that the identity was nonpartisan. The Care Review was completely independent and needed the support an backing of MSPs from all parties, and media from all corners of the political spectrum. This support would encourage people from all backgrounds to take part, and would help force its final recommendations into reality.
With love as a recurring theme, iconic hearts became powerful motifs throughout the review. For the final launch materials, we created a distinct heart symbol that could be easily shared on social media. Drawn by the review’s chair Fiona Duncan, the heart represents the vision of the new care system – as explained in the review documents.
It was important the Care Review documents didn’t feel like corporate audits or static reports. They had to inspire action. Nicola Sturgeon had made a promise to deliver a ‘root and branch review’ of the care system – so three years later the final report played that back to her loud and clear. Nobody could ignore this report.
In February 2020, the review delivered its conclusion in the form of six reports:
- ‘The Promise’ detailing specific problems and how they could be fixed
- ‘The Pinky Promise’, a child-friendly version of those recommendations
- ‘Follow The Money’ and ‘The Money’ explaining the current human and financial costs
- ‘The Rules’ explaining how legislation and the system must change
- ‘The Plan’ outlining next steps
Just hours after the review was made public, the First Minister announced her commitment to implementing the review’s recommendations, which is a sentiment met with cross-party support in Parliament.
There’s been an overwhelmingly positive response to the Care Review findings and support for its Promise:
- 6,104 Twitter followers for @TheCareReview
- The day after the launch there had been: 6,000 #carereview posts, 5500 users talking about #carereview reaching a whopping 11.6m people
The reports were so eagerly awaited that the website was struggling under the weight of visitors trying to download the documents.
The Care Review has been widely covered by the news media, including BBC, ITV, The Guardian, The Times and The Daily Record.
If your organisation is making a positive change in the world then please do get in touch to find out how StudioLR can elevate your message and reach the right people.
The recent Doti-fest did a really great job of being brand-authentic. ‘Design On The Inside’ is an un-conference organised each year by our friends at Snook and it takes on some of our planet’s biggest challenges from critical health services to designing a truly inclusive world.
What stood out for me most though was Snook wearing its heart on its sleeve at every touchpoint.
- The straw bales we sat on.
- The give-away inclusion tickets being funded by the profit.
- The dog-friendlyness.
- The creche.
- The strictly quiet space.
- The real fireside-chat format interviews.
- The dairy-free coffee bar.
And the genuine encouragement to bring our whole self (personal interests and vulnerable bits) to each workshop.
It all speaks of a caring and inclusive intention and delivery.
And a powerful brand.
I also jotted down some gems about clicktivism and emotional poverty, all giving me plenty of reasons to care:
- A reminder to not to focus on design. Focus on better. Most people don’t really care about design. They just care about something being better
- Accountability is king. It enables autonomy and ownership, empowers people with a powerful can-do attitude, and kicks a not-my-fault mentality into touch.
- Everyone should start (at least) one petition – petitions can start a powerful halo effect i.e. tampon tax and period poverty.
- A stark fact – Dundee has the highest number of drug related deaths in Europe. Made me think back to the amazing, inspiring talks of Sir Harry Burns. If you’re interested in community asset-based approach for health improvement then watching Harry speak is time well spent.
- Show the love to your customer. Don’t talk about yourself but talk about your customer in presentations, pitches, and social media. Spend time with customers listening to their needs and concerns. Knowing and solving their pain builds trust.
Is your organisation’s purpose clear? Chat to us about how we can help bring it to life through your brand.
Building on the campaign by Grace Warnock, StudioLR (funded by Life Changes Trust) has designed the new ‘Any Disability’ symbol to encourage awareness of people with invisible disabilities.
Martin Whitfield, MP for East Lothian, led a Commons debate (here) on invisible disabilities. Receiving full cross-party support, the new Any Disability symbol represents the full range of people who need to use accessible toilets and other facilities.
The symbol has received public shows of support from people who have experienced prejudice when using accessible facilities. This demonstrates how design can help change people’s everyday lives.
Justin Tomlinson MP – Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work – had some very supportive words to say about the project:
“…Making a real difference, not just in the UK but internationally”
Lucy Richards, our Creative Director explains: “We created the new Any Disability symbol because people with a hidden disability have the right to access facilities and services without having to explain their personal circumstances. It’s about building awareness as well as preventing prejudice.”
The symbol continues to receive strong cross-party support. After a drop-in event to rally MP support (with over 50 MPs attending) they have pledged to promote the symbol in their constituencies. On the day of the event (23 July) it was the most frequent hashtag amongst politicians (even above the #BackBoris campaign).
It’s also resulted in the creation of an All Party Parliamentary Group on Disability Signage to support the implementation and development of improved disability signage.
Read more about the project and debate here.
Or please feel free to get in touch with Lucy directly (email@example.com)
Building on the campaign by Grace Warnock, StudioLR (funded by Life Changes Trust) has designed a new ‘Any Disability’ symbol to encourage awareness of people with invisible disabilities.
Today (Wednesday 5th June), Martin Whitfield, MP for East Lothian, will lead a Commons debate on invisible disabilities and accessibility challenges.
The debate in the Commons’ Main Chamber will also see the formal launch a new Any Disability symbol to more accurately represent the full range of people with various disabilities who use accessible toilets and other facilities.
The development of the new sign was inspired by the success of the Grace’s Sign campaign, developed by Mr Whitfield’s constituent Grace Warnock, a pupil at Preston Lodge High School in Prestonpans. Grace, who has Crohn’s Disease, designed her sign following her own experience of using accessible toilets, including receiving negative remarks from adults who did not appreciate or understand her disability.
Grace has received high level recognition for her inspirational campaign, including a Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister and a British Citizen Youth Award.
The new Any Disability symbol has been designed by StudioLR as an evolution of Grace’s Sign with the aim of becoming recognised by the British Standards Institution as the generally accepted sign for accessible facilities, including toilets, parking areas and assistance points.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Martin Whitfield MP said:
“The impact of accessibility challenges faced by those living with ‘invisible’ disabilities has too often been overlooked or ignored.
“However, thanks to the dedicated work of numerous charities and inspirational individual campaigners like Grace Warnock, the issue is finally starting to receive the attention it deserves.
“This Commons debate will provide another opportunity for MPs to speak out on behalf of their constituents who live with hidden disabilities and describe the challenges and negative responses they can experience while going about their daily lives.
“I hope the debate will help to increase awareness around these complicated issues and lead to greater understanding about the daily challenges faced by so many people living with a wide range of conditions.”
Lucy Richards, Creative Director at StudioLR, who designed the new sign, said:
“The wheelchair symbol is commonly used on accessible toilet signs and Blue Badge parking permits, however this symbol doesn’t represent the people with wide-ranging impairments who use these facilities and services.
Having followed Grace Warnock’s campaign to raise awareness that some people who use accessible toilets have an invisible disability (for instance Crohn’s disease or dementia) the design team at StudioLR saw an opportunity to build on this. With a Life Changes Trust Award (funded by the National Lottery Community Fund) StudioLR has conceived, designed and tested a new, inclusive symbol that can be rolled out across toilets, parking signs and assistance points. Testing was facilitated by Innovations in Dementia.
We created the new Any Disability symbol because people with a hidden disability have the right to access facilities and services without having to explain their personal circumstances. It’s about building awareness as well as preventing prejudice.”
Grace Warnock said:
“The story of my sign came from my own experience of an adult questioning my use of an accessible toilet this ignorance drove me to design the first Grace’s Sign to educate others on invisible disabilities and to encourage everyone to have a heart”
Co-design in Practice.
At the International Masterclass on Dementia Care, Design and Ageing, Lucy will share insights from our Inclusive Symbols work funded by Life Changes Trust.
Initial research indicated that many of the symbols we encounter in life are not easily understood by people with cognitive challenges. So, we set out to create a new set of 15 symbols, designed to make finding the way easier for everybody.
Sharing progress and revealing the latest work, Lucy will highlight the value of listening to the views of people with dementia to inform the creative process.
The International Masterclass brings together experts from across the globe to discuss ideas from design innovation through research to policy development to support independence and well-being in people living with dementia.
Co-design in Practice
International Masterclass on Dementia Care, Design and Ageing
Wednesday 15th May, 11.30am
Iris Murdoch Conference Suite, University of Stirling
Tickets available here
[1 min read]
An event hosted by StudioLR at the SCVO Gathering 2019
Thursday 21 February, 11.15am – 12.15pm
By defining the purpose of your organisation and involving your people in the process, you will build an authentic brand and reap the rewards of a united, driven workforce.
Lucy Richards and Joanna McCreadie (Chief Executive of Seamab) will demonstrate the power of this approach by example – sharing the insights and outcomes of their collaboration to create a dynamic and enduring brand for Seamab.
[4 minute read]
I’m fresh out of the Social Enterprise World Forum, SEWF2018. This annual, three-day-event brings Social Entrepreneurs from all over the globe together in one place to share ideas that are changing the world for good. You’ll struggle to find a more inspiring event…
What is a social enterprise?
A Social Enterprise is an organisation, or a person, changing the world for the better. Like most businesses they aim to make a profit, but the key is that they reinvest the majority of their profit to create positive social change. This allows them to tackle social problems, improve people’s life chances, support communities and help the environment.
Government statistics identify around 100,000 social enterprises of all sizes in the UK, contributing £60 billion to the economy and employing nearly two million people.*
Here’s a quick illustration of the range of organisations active in this movement:
- Cordant Group, the UK’s 2nd largest recruitment and services business with revenues of £840 million and 125,000 employees, reinvests the majority of its profits into social programmes across education, employment, and healthcare, pledging to touch and improve thousands of lives, one community at a time. To demonstrate its intent, Cordant has capped all annual shareholder dividends and all executive salaries, and agreed to be independently audited, using recognised Social Impact measurements.
- Social Bite is a chain of sandwich shops with a difference – they’re on a mission to end homelessness in Scotland. They created the world’s largest annual sleep out Sleep in the Park which last year alone raised £4million.
- Students of Broughton High School in Edinburgh have created BROEnterprise which tackles social isolation and loneliness in the community by bringing people together each Friday afternoon in the school to enjoy tea and cake, and to have fun together through craft and reading activities. Everyone is welcome from early years to golden-agers and, as you can imagine, the social enterprise has been a really positive movement in the school.
How can we make a difference?
Imagine a world where Social Enterprise is part of the curriculum in every primary school. It’s a main subject choice in every secondary school, and it’s a culture that’s embedded in every workplace. We all know that the best ideas come from people working together, free from prejudice, financial constraints and fear of failure.
With our Society offer at StudioLR we walk the talk about improving people’s everyday – that’s our purpose and the reason we come to work each day. We collaborate on ideas that make a difference to people from all walks of life. We listen and improve until we get it right for the people that need it – they’re the experts. We make sure it’s sustainable and for good. And when it’s embedded we measure the impact.
I urge you to think about what you care about and use that as a starting point to make a difference. There are huge challenges for people all over the world that need our creativity, motivation and determination to solve. Do you care about loneliness, obesity, inequality, or the ageing population?
And if you need inspiration, this is a good place to start.
Founder of StudioLR
* Social Enterprise UK, State of Social Enterprise Survey 2017
Nominated in the Publication category of the Scottish Design Awards, ‘a far-off land’ by Alec Finlay for Macmillan Cancer Support explores the memory of landscapes as a fond illness-companion.
The photography remembers childhood illness, where bedding becomes an imaginative landscape – with scenes suggestive of the glens of Angus.
The book is based on the thought that the memory of the landscape remains fond and healing, even when it cannot easily be accessed, whether through illness or people coming to the end of life.
To find out more about the award-winning work we do at StudioLR, please get in touch.
At StudioLR, We’ve been designing wayfinding signage to help people living with dementia live more independently.
[7 Minute Read]
With features such as dementia-friendly signs, handrails and benches, Kings Park in Stirling recently launched as Scotland’s first dementia-friendly park. Led by National walking charity, Paths for All, we were asked to design signs which would help people living with dementia navigate the park more easily on their own.
“This project was an important step for us in working towards our aim of driving improvements in the quality of life, well-being, empowerment and inclusion of people living with dementia in Scotland.”
– Dr Corinne Greasley Adams, development officer for Paths for All
Paths for All came to us after hearing about our successful initiative to design signs that will help people with dementia find their way around care homes.
Aligning with our company belief that great design improves people’s everyday lives, we wanted to make a difference to people living with dementia through empowering signage design.
Working with our academic partners (Edinburgh University and Stirling University) we challenged the signage typically used in care environments. Using an academic approach gave us confidence that our assessment was accurate. And our recommendations would have the intended level of positive impact.
Easy wayfinding would improve the wellbeing of people with dementia (potentially extending their life) and also reduce the strain and cost on their families and on societal care resources.
We realised our findings could easily be transferred to other public spaces, like Kings Park, providing an even greater opportunity for extended independent living.
Read more about the dementia-friendly Kings Park project in the Scotsman article here.