Established in 1881 and operating until 1970 as a charity that “gave poor, homeless children a loving and secure family environment”, The Children’s Society is a UK organization now dedicated to disadvantaged children by tackling child poverty and neglect, helping families trapped in debt, stopping child sexual exploitation, lobbying the government, and more. Facing lack of awareness about their mission and goals, The Children’s Society recently introduced a new logo and identity designed by London-based SomeOne.
The Children’s Society exposes and directly addresses the hard truths that children face in society today, fighting inequality at the highest level while supporting children in their personal development and delivering care where it is most needed. ‘Hard truths’ directly underpins the charity’s existing strategic focus which is to fight childhood poverty and teenage neglect. Together we helped express this as their vision: ‘A country where children are free from disadvantage’.
We created the visual identity, placing a strong emphasis on storytelling and the revealing of hard truths. The black and white emphasises the serious nature of the charity’s work, while allowing great flexibility to work with bolder colours and designs for different audiences.
Since I was not familiar with this organization my reaction within the first minute of seeing the old logo and new logo was “Man, what a downer”. Again, this was based on the name of the organization — very generic, not really saying anything specific — and seeing the old logo — more American Idol: Kids Edition than disadvantaged children. So after learning about the charity the new approach made more sense and made it clear why it was so important to move away from the reach-for-the-stars-optimistic-human-sprite logo.
The new logo is almost like a Brutalist building: a large, unavoidable mass that is not the most aesthetically pleasant but damned if it doesn’t make you stop in your tracks and take notice. A giant “C” becomes the holding shape for the serious, serif wordmark and then acts as a kind of flip book where opposite thoughts/concepts are presented. The literal and metaphorical black-and-white presentation adds to the imposing nature of the logo and its identity.
In application, the contrasts continue with large swaths of black and white fields and serif typography with the “C” shape stretching sideways or up and down as the canvas requires. At times the resulting layouts feel a little dated and not very convincing but the overall aesthetic coupled with straightforward language about what the charity does is effective. While most charities try to soften the blow with amicable logos and applications, this one is as blunt as it gets, setting it apart from the many organizations vying for government attention and the public’s donations.