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True North lends a hand with rebranding Genomics England

True North is helping Genomics England to evolve its brand and drive its future growth.

Genomics England plays a critical role in making genomic healthcare and research possible, accessible, and impactful in the UK.

Originally established to deliver the ground-breaking 100,000 Genomes Project, a 2012 British initiative to sequence and study the role our genes play in health and disease, the scope and influence of the organisation has evolved greatly since.

Due to the fame of its founding project amongst the research community, the Genomics England brand is well-known. However, that same community’s understanding of Genomics England’s capabilities was stuck in that project and had not kept pace with its later range of activities.

With the new range of activities, the organisation was having to engage more directly with a much wider variety of audiences, including patients in more challenging situations.

Genomics England’s brand identity lacked sufficient depth or variety to support its full range of activities and audiences. As a result, different programmes had started to move beyond the core identity, leading to a lack of cohesion and attribution which threatened to undermine the organisation’s aims and credibility.

While it was clear that the existing visual identity could be evolved and made more flexible to accommodate this breadth of activities and audiences, the most critical factor for success would be enabling all programmes to express their agenda and to “have meaningful input in defining the solution.”

Following exploration of potential brand architectures, the existing visual identity was evolved to allow greater variety and tone for different situations, while remaining a single brand.

Steve Royle, creative director at True North said: “The brand felt like it was dynamic and alive. It was growing organically, yet lacked a spirit or thread to unite the value across its projects and products. The challenge was to strip out the potential for complexity and create a simple approach that built a platform for continued growth. Building on what already existed and developing an executable solution that delivered cohesion across the organisation became our focus.”

The abstract shapes featured in the existing logo were used as the foundation for a full graphic system. Combined with a wider, softer colour palette and range of visual assets, the system is used to create communications which are more relevant and responsive to their context – whether it be for researchers, for parents of new-born children, or for communities who are under-represented in, and cautious of, such research.

True North created an online identity tool kit that explains the Genomic England brand and helps individuals create and embrace a unified brand whilst also improving communication within their respective areas or departments.
Michael Motskin, marketing and brand director, Genomics England, added: “We worked with True North to consolidate our branding and take it to the next level. I’m delighted we chose True North who owned the process from start to finish and overcame our internal differences in opinions to deliver a fantastic brand architecture and direction that will propel Genomics England for the years to come. It was an absolute pleasure working with their team.”

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