This project was very close to my heart, as the task was to rebrand Ganet’s Adventure School Fund, a small charity which grew out of a 15 year long collaboration between me and the Malawian director of a village primary school.
As Chair of the charity, I worked with my fellow trustees and stakeholders to expand its aims: to support education projects throughout Malawi in addition to Ganet’s Adventure School which it was originally set up to support. Once the new aims were decided, I led the development of a strategy to achieve the most impact, where we decided to focus on improving the quality of primary and secondary education in Malawi.
Once approval of our new aims had been obtained from the Charity Commission, I developed a brand strategy to express the aims of the organisational strategy, with a core purpose of being ‘a catalyst which enables Malawi’s next generation to shine’. The brand strategy then formed the basis of the creative brief.
A new name was required which was not attached to Ganet’s Adventure School, it needed to be short and to the point and if possible a call to action. We trustees developed a shortlist, gathered stakeholder feedback, took advice from a trademark specialist and checked it against UK trademarks and similar names in use online. We decided upon Think Malawi, as it had a positive, aspirational feel and the name doubles as a call to action.
I started out by gathering visual research from other NGOs, organisations involved in education and innovation, plus Malawian and southern African visual culture.
At last it was time to get stuck into logo concepts, and after some initial visual research I developed a shortlist of five concepts. I am a big believer in incorporating audience research into my work, in order to help ensure its effectiveness. Read more about how I went about this.
I put together a short online survey to obtain feedback from supporters on which route they felt best expressed our aims, as well as getting feedback from the trustees and other stakeholders.
There wasn’t a clear winner from this feedback, so I developed three routes further, and eventually decided upon the chosen route for its human feel and because it best expressed the catalyst concept from the brief.
After obtaining final stakeholder approval, the logo has now been rolled out across the charity’s online presence, and I have put together a simple brand guidelines document detailing colours, typefaces and logo variants, including the animated version shown at the top of the page.
Keeping supporters informed and getting their input helped to build interest and a feeling of involvement, and there was a renewed energy among supporters and trustees once we launched our strategy. This led to new trustee applicants who noted that they applied in part because of the possibilities from our new expanded aims. Now its down to us trustees to build on this goodwill and deliver our promise of improved education for Malawians, which of course is what it’s all about.