The League Against Cruel Sports was founded in 1924 with the aim of banning fox hunting, stag hunting, otter hunting, hare hunting and hare coursing in the UK. It was instrumental in bringing about the Hunting Act 2004 which banned hunting with hounds in England and Wales while a key focus today is on campaigning against dog fighting.
ASHA worked with the charity to address issues around its perception and positioning. According to the design consultancy, “the League had become an organisation defined by its campaigning behaviours, rather than a core idea, and the absence of a clear positioning led to misunderstandings and misrepresentations”.
“The charity is about changing human behaviour towards animals, rather than just about the animals themselves,” ASHA say, “The League had previously portrayed animals as tortured victims, often leaving audiences feeling powerless themselves.” It proposed a new positioning around the idea of ‘Humanity for Animals’ expressed through the ‘descriptor’ ‘Defending Persecuted Animals’ which is used on the new brand mark for the League. ASHA has also “created three simple categories that encapsulate everything [the League] does, and run through the visual identity – ‘investigate’, ‘educate’ and ‘protect’.”
A new photographic style aims to distance the League from the idea of animals as helpless victims and instead focus on their dignity, “replicating how you as a human would want to be portrayed. By depicting the animals in this light, it really makes audiences consider the inhumanity behind torturing such beautiful creatures,” ASHA say.
The new mark retains the paw-print device of the League’s previous identity (see top) but cleans it up and places it within a shield. The effect is to recall football club badges or perhaps DC Comics’ Justice League – something that is reinforced by the type treatment of the charity’s name in which the word ‘League’ is given prominence. In this way, the idea of the League as a movement or a force for change comes through strongly (although for some it might prompt thoughts of the Power League brand by Music which also uses a shield device).