Founded in 1911, for the last century the Royal National Institute for Deaf People’s mission has been to make life inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss, whether through pioneering new treatments for tinnitus or promoting access to sign language.
The charity, which has been known as Action on Hearing Loss since 2011, decided to rebrand and rethink its mission in a bid to reach a wider community of people.
Along with the worrying statistic that an estimated 14 million adults in the UK will be deaf or have hearing loss by 2035, the charity cites the daily issues deaf people have faced during the pandemic, such as the barriers to communication caused by face coverings, as a key reason for reimagining its brand.
To mark the new chapter, the charity has returned to its original name of RNID, after research found that it was more loved and better recognised by the general public.
Alongside the new name, a refreshed visual identity has been designed by London-based agency SomeOne, in collaboration with brand consultant Dan Dufour and the charity’s in-house design team.
“We might be over a century old, but it doesn’t mean we’re stuffy and formal, in fact quite the opposite,” says RNID’s head of brand, Cheryl Hughes. “We want to show people that we are dynamic and responsive, and inspire the belief that together we can create a fully inclusive society.”
At the heart of the rebrand is a new word mark that resembles a smiley face, a muted colour palette of pinks and greens that avoids the charity branding cliché of primary colours, and a set of ten of playful speech bubbles that feature across its communications.
New photography and illustrations were commissioned to reflect the full range of people supported by the charity, including those with cochlear implants and hearing aids.
Meanwhile, a more conversational tone of voice has been introduced, with the guidelines published on RNID’s website to encourage the charity’s community to help shape the language it uses.
RNID digital director Michael Wilkinson, says: “Culture and language is constantly evolving and we want to make sure we reflect that in the way we speak as a brand. That’s why we’re going to be publishing our tone of voice publicly and inviting people to help shape its future direction.”