Irish Cancer Society

We were privileged to take on the task of refreshing the Irish Cancer Society brand, creating a valuable tool to enable the organisation to support its community through fundraising, service provision, research & advocacy. We developed a warm, approachable, flexible brand that can work across a wide range of touchpoints and for a wide range of purposes and is fit for purpose now and into the future.

Background

An estimated 44,000 people are diagnosed with cancer or a related tumour in Ireland each year. More people in Ireland are being diagnosed with cancer now than ever before. The Irish Cancer Society’s services face demands that are expected to continue for the foreseeable future. However, its brand identity had become outdated and was no longer fit for purpose to support the wide range of services and supports that the Irish Cancer Society community offers.

Central to the Irish Cancer Society brand since 2001 is the daffodil. Cancer organisations around the world use the daffodil as a symbol of hope for all people affected by cancer. Daffodils mark the return of spring and new life. The daffodil used in the Irish Cancer Society brand had become outdated. Our task was to reimagine the daffodil and build a distinctive and compelling brand and, as such, to create a stronger recognition of the daffodil as a symbol of all the Irish Cancer Society stands for, and better translation of it to all their touchpoints, online and offline.

The Idea

Our approach was to create an iconic mark for the Irish Cancer Society that is on par with its International peers alongside a flexible toolkit that works well across a wide range of touchpoints.

Our research phase was led by researching different types of daffodils and their proportions - our design team became a mini team of botanists in the studio for a few months!! The resulting mark is a modern, clean, graphic symbol. The interwoven petals allude to a sense of coming together, community and connection. There are six petals, each representing one of the Irish Cancer Society's six pillars - Cancer Support Services, Volunteering, Fundraising, Cancer Information, Cancer Research and Cancer Advocacy.

The mark is paired with a beautiful geometric sans serif with humanist qualities, with the a & e counters resembling petals. The mark is friendly and accessible while also being strong enough to stand alongside the Irish Cancer Society’s funding and academic partners.

Execution

In terms of typography, we chose ES Peak as the Irish Cancer Society brand font because it is friendly, approachable, and accessible and has distinctive qualities that complement the brand marque.

The colour palette is inspired by spring, hope, and new growth. Confident blocks of colour are paired with lighter and darker shades to create a bright, warm, digital-friendly palette.

Our graphic elements are made from shapes found within the daffodil. We use these to frame imagery and text, giving our identity greater flexibility and allowing the brand to be recognised away from the logo.

The visual language system is strong yet straightforward and recognisable. We created a simple, flexible visual language system, and the toolkit will work across a wide range of audiences and services, allowing the Irish Cancer Society to create ownable and consistent communications from the national to the local level.

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Working with Red Dog is always enjoyable, engaging, and productive. The valuable part about working with Red Dog is their ability to be agile to an organisation’s needs. They handheld and supported us at every level of the process from requirement taking to senior level conversations. As a not-for-profit organisation costings and efficiency are extremely important to us and Red Dog were consistently cognisant of this, coming up with ways for the organisation to deliver maximum impact. Our new strong and streamlined brand identity was created with so much care and consideration and carried out with a real openness to listen to our needs.

Fionnuala O’Leary, Director of Engagement and Fundraising

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Special thanks to our collaborators

MCCP for the strategic work that underpinned our design approach.

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