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Arts for Dementia rebrands – January 2024

Posted: 24th January 2024

Arts for Dementia is proud to unveil a comprehensive rebrand.  We want everyone affected by early stage dementia to find, enjoy and benefit from creative activities. This rebrand reflects that vision, emphasising possibilities, recognising the agency individuals maintain after a diagnosis, and it aims to be welcoming and accessible to everyone.  We have worked in partnership with Studio BND, supported by a working group that included people affected by dementia, to develop a brand and website that can help us deliver our ambitious strategy and also champions the voices of those affected by dementia.

 

The need

Our previous brand and website were dated, not very accessible, and didn’t reflect the work and ethos of the charity.  One recent participant at our training even said ‘I wasn’t sure what to expect, having seen your website, but today has been great.’  We were keen to leave behind such low expectations and instead help people to understand that we are an engaging and uplifting team delivering inspiring activities, and that we understand how dementia can affect people.

A repeated pattern of 8 palettes and paint brushes, in yellow on sand

The process

We wanted co-production with people with dementia to be core to this process and so we created a working group of staff, Trustees and workshop participants with lived experience of dementia.  They were involved in generating ideas, developing concepts and giving feedback at every stage, and we also consulted more workshop participants at key stages. Having decided that pictograms would be key to the brand, we worked with Studio BND to put on a workshop where people created cut-outs that represented the arts and activities that they love.  We ran one workshop for people affected by dementia, and another for our wider stakeholders (Trustees, artists, volunteers, funders, and partners from cultural organisations) and their pictograms became a cornerstone across the brand, creating a toolkit of visual assets.

The logomark

Building on the idea of hand-crafted icons, the new logomark pays tribute to the reality of life with dementia

Lori Hayden was one of our working group.  Her husband had dementia and she took part in Arts for Dementia programmes with him.  She is a former Trustee of and now an advisor to Arts for Dementia.  She said of the logomark:

“It is not perfect in shape, but yet it is perfect.   As life is perfect but then again it is not, especially in the case after a diagnosis of dementia. I like this mark’s imperfections, especially the curved glitch in the point about two o’clock. This mark can be a flower, a starburst, a light, a beacon, or even a hole with a jagged edge or something rough edged you can see through.  A challenging path to enter. Burst through the jagged, imperfect challenge and be brave . . . come through the other end. 

After a diagnosis of dementia, things are not perfect; they are far from it.  But with the help of others and organisations like Arts for Dementia, things that are imperfect can be supported, embraced and shared so that life can be . . . well, nearly perfect.

Accessibility and inclusivity

A priority for us at Arts for Dementia was an accessible system. Studio BND engaged in an intensive research and development process, involving people living with dementia and direct caregivers for instant user feedback. The result is a colour palette rigorously tested for both web and offline environments, accommodating the unique challenges posed by dementia. Understanding the impact of dementia on memory and vision lead to the development of a component-based system with clear hierarchy and separation. This approach ensures distinct placement and engagement with visuals without causing confusion or visual overload.

Four women are together, three seated and one standing. One of the seated women is holding a doll and smiling, and the others are looking at the doll and bending towards her with interest.

Revitalising the website

The website design focuses on accessibility, vibrancy, hope, and enjoyment. A heavy focus on people and human connection has been placed within the photography to help reinforce the focus on life after diagnosis, and to again showcase the agency of those living with dementia. We were keen to streamline the user experience, as well as adhering to AA and AAA accessibility standards, implementing Alt-Tagging, and introducing a mouse-free navigation system for those with mobility-based disabilities.

Penny Fosten, CEO of Arts for Dementia, said:

We are delighted with the new brand and very excited to be implementing it.  We reviewed our strategy and priorities in 2022, and it was clear that in order to reach more people and inspire them to explore the benefits of creativity for people affected by dementia that we would need a really engaging, uplifting and accessible brand and website. Studio BND have been a great partner in this, really working to understand us as an organisation, our stakeholders and beneficiaries, and dementia itself.  Their approach was hugely collaborative and they wanted to use co-production as much as possible – it’s wonderful to see icons in the branding that our participants, Trustees, volunteers, staff and partners created. The whole team are looking forward to seeing the new brand, colours and logo out in the world.

Ben Mottershead, Director at Studio BND, shared his perspective:

Our priority during this process has been to lift the veil on Dementia. We believed it was vital to highlight that life doesn’t end with a diagnosis, and we sought to reframe the existing narrative, and to champion the next chapter in an affected person’s journey. To show their optimism, agency, and determination. 

This rebrand is not just a visual transformation—it’s a testament to the resilience and vitality of those affected by dementia, inviting all to join in the celebration of life beyond diagnosis.

Written by Penny Fosten

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