Children Help Themselves

Faced with the task of reinvigorating the communications for Save the Children, Johnson Banks decided to enlist the help of, well, some children

“They were having trouble cutting through and struggling to get to potential donors,” explains Michael Johnson. “They were flat-lining in research because people weren’t really sure what they stood for. We spent a lot of time with them last year agreeing a new ‘positioning’, which essentially means they are going to become much more ‘agit’ again.”

However, translating this new stance while retaining the charity’s symbol and use of Gill Sans type proved difficult. “So we started experimenting with hand-drawn versions of Gill, to make it look less formal,” Johnson says. “Then we had the breakthrough thought of getting children to draw the fonts (children helping save the children, if you like).”

The studio made a worksheet with very light outlines of Gill bold and regular, and the symbol, and enlisted the help of several local schools. Weeks later, and with over a hundred to choose from, they picked 14 weights, from ten kids, which Monotype helped to digitise.

The resulting typefaces, along with a re-drawn symbol and new slogan will appear in UK campaigns for the charity.


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