RSPCA Launches Its First Rebrand in 50 Years

Category

Branding

Read Time

5 min

Published

01 May, 2024

Ah, a rebranding story featuring animals. And a rebranding story about a brand that does so much good for animals.

The RSPCA has been at the forefront of animal welfare for more than two centuries, establishing itself as the leading charity in the field.

As a charity that does so much good work, from rescuing animals in the wild, to giving domestic animals a safe, new home, their previous branding didn’t reflect their positive ethos.

Instead, it looked quite corporate with a cold blue colour palette and the wordmark encased inside of an octagon.

The logo wasn’t flexible, and it didn’t communicate what the RSPCA do. It was also quite outdated and hadn’t evolved with the changing, and often challenging world, that so many animals are in today.

But more on that later.

As a renowned charity, the RSPCA were in need of something that evoked more emotion, something that reflected the amount of good work they do and the amount of animals they help.

The level and breadth of their services needed pushing to the forefront, whilst bringing the brand into the modern day.

With the help of design agency Jones Knowles Ritchie, they set about on their biggest rebrand for 50 years. And it’s not a small change either.

We’re talking a full makeover.

Let’s get into it.
illustrated animals on RSPCA collage

Evolving the brand to fit the challenges of today

Considering the number of challenges facing animals today from climate change to deforestation, the old RSPCA logo didn’t communicate these issues.

It was stuck in the past and had failed to keep up with the issues facing our world today.

According to Ellen Moriarty, design director at Jones Knowles Ritchie, a core part of this rebrand was enabling the RSPCA to broaden its appeal so that it could reconnect with society.

This involves reconnecting with people to tell them about the broad work the charity do, instead of being viewed as a cold, corporate organisation.

In the words of Ellen Moriarty:

They are seen as cold and authoritarian.

These two adjectives are not something that you want to associate with a charity as you want to engage and inspire people to take action and to offer support.

The RSPCA heavily depends on donations, making it key to resonate with people’s emotions and sense of humanity to inspire involvement in their cause.

As the brand prepares to tackle some of its biggest issues yet, it’s hoped this rebrand will lay the foundation for building increased support and engagement from the public.

RSPCA logo gif on blue background

“Opening up” the brand

The biggest change is easily the drop of the octagon shaped border.

This has quite literally been “opened up”, allowing the wordmark to stand alone against the rich blue background.

The corporate blue shade that was used previously has been dropped in favour of a rich, blue tone which not only modernises the brand but also makes it stand out across digital applications.

The idea of “opening up” the brand is also significant as a core focus behind the rebranding initiative was to communicate the breath of the RSPCA services. Therefore, by removing this outline, it visually signifies the expansive size and the level of the offering from the charity.

RSPCA gif of store fronts

Extensive research was carried out by Jones Knowles Ritchie to ensure they got this absolutely right. Their team visited various animal centres, hospitals, branches and its national call centre, meeting RSPCA volunteers, inspectors, vets, wildlife experts and branch managers.

The idea being that they wanted to gain “comprehensive” understanding of the charity’s broad work to ensure the brand would support, not restrict this work.

In fact the new octagon shape which is now used to frame the breadth of animals the RSPCA protects can be customised for different branches. They can use this shape alongside a suite of illustrations portraying “happy, healthy animals”, by selecting an animal that “best reflects them” in their brand communications.
RSPCA gif of different animals

Engaging and playful visual storytelling

The suite of illustrations and animations are just something we have to talk about.

They’re fun, playful, and add a great sense of personality into the brand.

Whilst communicating the number of animals RSPCA help, they’re also really engaging and would captivate any audience – whether you’re an animal lover or not.

Some of my particular favourites feature a fox jumping into action, a hen slowly strutting onto the screen, a cat leaning into a stretch, and a pig, just well, going about it’s business really.

They’re very charming and make the brand feel more relatable and definitely more human.

Considering RSPCA are trying to appeal to the public’s sense of humanity, these animations are really effective.

RSPCA gif of donation ad

They also do a really great advert to encourage people to donate, which showcases a hedgehog transforming into a blue circular badge.

This acts as a way to transition and roll from one frame to the next, which again, feels very playful and light.

The message is also really well crafted, and represents the different animals your contribution will help.

Overall, this is a fantastic rebrand and I’d expect no less from Jones Knowles Ritchie.

It’s playful, emotive, and beautifully encapsulates what the RSPCA do whilst also addressing the key challenges facing animal welfare today.

Hi, I'm Amy, Content Strategist at Canny. In my day-to-day role, I'm responsible for creating content that gets you noticed and makes you stand out from the competition. Naturally, I love writing and creating engaging copy that brings your brand to life.

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