You’re Welcome

You’re Welcome is Barnwood Trust’s ongoing programme of work to make Gloucestershire a more welcoming and inclusive county, especially for those with physical disabilities and mental health challenges.

When we met the team at Barnwood Trust, their exciting new initiative You’re Welcome was in the very early stages of development and they needed a creative partner to bring it to life and create a brand world where their work could feel at home and connect with the right people – that’s where we came in.

Yoke created a brand that embodied You’re Welcome’s key objectives as an organisation and worked hard to make sure the new brand was inclusive to it’s core and welcoming at it’s heart. As a completely new brand we had the freedom to create something truly inspiring and that’s what we set about doing. Here’s how…

The challenge

Barnwood Trust were keen to establish a brand for You’re Welcome that was distinctly different from the parent Trust’s brand as Barnwood Trust is over 200 years old and its brand carries a certain amount of heritage with it. Key stakeholders wanted the You’re Welcome brand to be friendly, welcoming and non authoritarian. We held workshops with the internal Barnwood team and key audience representatives to establish their thoughts on how the new brand should look and sound.

"We wanted to create a brand that people felt that they understood, could engage with, relate to and most of all that they could feel part of – this was important both for staff within Barnwood Trust, people in organisations we worked with and also people living in communities across the county, especially those with disabilities and mental health challenges."

Lucy Poulton, Communications Manager, Barnwood Trust

Our solution

You’re Welcome needed to reach lots of people in many different ways, as such the project became multi-faceted with printed materials and a VW campervan for community events being produced, together with a strong digital presence and film and animation to increase engagement.

The brand

We learned from the workshops that the new brand needed to feel like a friend not an expert, it needed to appear encouraging and helpful to others, and as a practical doer as well as being fun loving and approachable.   

Once we had established the brand’s personality, we could start working on concepts to visually convey it. We needed a strong symbol which evoked a welcoming personality. Tea and biscuits is the most welcoming of rituals and one that is embedded in the British psyche. Attaching the brand to this quintessentially British tradition allowed us to instantly create an image of warmth and inclusivity. Using the biscuit as the main focus gave us plenty of scope for logo marks whilst suggesting You’re Welcome is the extra element that turns a cup of tea into a celebration between friends.  

Once the concept was settled, the other elements followed naturally. We created an illustration style that has a simple cutout look with a homemade craft feel, highlighting that everyone is welcome and can get involved. Characterful headline type choices complemented by accessible and clear paragraph typefaces reference the brand personality whilst remaining functional. The result is a strong and recognisable brand full of character and warmth.

 

An introduction animation

Once the brand elements had been created, it was important to explain just what You’re Welcome is, and what the initiative is about in an informative and engaging way. To achieve this we were commissioned to create an animation which uses the illustration style we established to tell the You’re Welcome story. The key to the animation was to make sure the audience were at the heart of it’s design and thinking. We learned that some audience members might be put off by too fast paced an animation and something that felt too polished and clean. We therefore created something that had a relaxed pace to it and that people could understand easily whilst at the same time be moved to get involved and have a go.  

A community driven website

There’s certainly lots to consider when creating a truly accessible website – from ensuring that the site is navigable without a mouse and can be read by screen readers to selecting colours and font sizes which are clear and easy to read. We embraced the challenge by putting user experience at the heart of the design and build process – constantly checking that the solutions we came up with were accessible and appropriate.

Involving the real audience of the site in the design process from the very start helped us to understand their needs and develop appropriate solutions. At the beginning of the project, we collected the group’s ideas about what they wanted from the website via a user workshop. We used this detail to supplement the client’s brief and our own ideas to develop the site structure and wireframes.

We held workshops throughout the process to hone our work and ensure at all stages the progress was matching back to what users wanted and needed. Feedback became increasingly specific and guided our decision making on features and functionality. One example of a useful feature the group highlighted was the need for multiple input methods on the site rather than just type. Off the back of this, we developed the functionality to use voice, video, sketch as well as type input for commenting. See our blog article, Let everyone join the conversation for more detail on this feature.

When you add this to the usual considerations when building a website of all the functionality you’d like, as well as making sure the brand is clearly and coherently represented it might have seemed like an impossible task – but we relished the challenge.

Accessibility wasn’t just about the practicalities of making sure users could engage with the website – it was also about creating a space which felt safe and secure for people who might be feeling vulnerable to find others in their community who enjoy similar things, or could empathise with their experiences. We were keen to develop something that was community-led to give a real sense of ownership over the project. For this reason, all content posted to the site (stories, posts, events, groups) are done so by members of the community – Barnwood Trust have a very minimal role in developing actual content but instead have an active role in gathering feedback from the community to allow us to shape the website – allowing it to evolve as different needs and requirements become apparent.

‘It was a challenge to design for people with very specific needs and without the level of contact and human time we had during the design process, all of the solutions to the problems would have been intellectual rather than experiential.’

Jay Bigford, Creative Director

The impact

Using the workshop process meant that we knew that the brand answered both Barnwood Trust’s, and its community needs. The result of this is a community that are directly benefiting from the work that Barnwood Trust are doing. The brand helps the community connect with the organisation and the You’re Welcome website is a thriving hub of new connections and community action in practice.

The brand has invited praise from the Third Sector Awards and of course our happy client.

“The You’re Welcome brand is a clean and simple design with a friendly and welcoming brand identity which helps move the organisation forward and make it easier to engage with. The secondary colour palette and illustrations contribute to the creation of an accessible and flexible visual language”

Sarah Fournier - Third Sector awards

“From day one working with Yoke has been an absolute pleasure. They not only know their stuff when it comes to all the technical detail, they also value just as highly as us the need for teamwork and building good relationships.
Yoke threw themselves and their passion for You’re Welcome into designing the brand and website to help us further evolve into a strong brand with a clear identity. Their relaxed but hard working and astute attitude means they are a breath of fresh air to work with”

Lucy Poulton - Head of marketing, Barnwood Trust

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