Design Bridge and Partners refreshes Cancer Research UK identity

Grey hues no longer feature in the logo, which has been refined and optimised for animation and digital use, while the magenta, cyan blue and navy hues have been retained to “represent life”.

Design Bridge and Partners has refreshed Cancer Research UK’s brand identity with a refined logo that seek to communicate “a single, powerful and consistent story”.

Design Bridge and Partners’ creative partner Dave Roberts explains how the main goal was to design “a single minded and cohesive identity”. The visual changes coincide with the implementation of a new strapline and strategy, devised by Cancer Research UK.


The studio’s senior designer Leanne Kitchen describes Cancer Research UKs former logo as “complex” and unclear in its storytelling, adding that it wasn’t “optimised for digital platforms, animation or small-scale use”. In the new logo, the circles no longer overlap, and grey hues that might be associated with lack of life have been omitted, leaving the magenta, cyan blue and navy blue untouched.

Giving the circles “more significance” and retaining the most recognisable and bold colours serves to add clarity and “represent life along with the positive moments in beating cancer”, says Kitchen. Each circle comes together to form the letter C and is meant to symbolise “a moment in time in the collective journey in beating cancer”, she adds.

Kitchen explains how the circles are now employed more purposefully with a focus on “their singularity and what they represent”. They are used to tell both personal stories and scientific stories, aiming to foster relatability and highlight the significance of Cancer Research UK’s work, according to Kitchen.

Design Bridge and Partners adapted an existing font by F37 foundry called Hybrid, which mixes typographic elements from slab serif and sans serif letterforms. To make the font bespoke, Roberts describes how the studio “cut the terminals” from certain letterforms “to mirror the angles” of the brand symbol. Being a slab serif/sans serif hybrid, the font “has the gravitas for research based or serious messaging” as well as a more “human and quirky” presence for positive messaging, says Roberts.

Taking inspiration from existing Cancer Research UK photos “from professional shoots or user generated content”, Kitchen says the studio developed a new bank of photography focused on “the humanity of Britain”. The aim was to avoid anything that appeared “manufactured or corporate, favouring shots that depicted “genuine, true, authentic moments” with “a sense of quirk, wit or honesty” from people’s everyday lives. The photography features fundraisers and researchers a well as people affected by cancer.

This marks the charity’s first rebrand in over a decade, as its last update was carried out by Interbrand in 2012.

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  • Corin Martin September 11, 2023 at 11:25 am

    At first glance this feels underwhelming and little feels like it’s changed. But when you start getting into it you realise that there’s so much that’s been improved, the identity suddenly makes sense, the circles have a purpose, the logo doesn’t just look interesting, and it all feels like it’s connected. So only underwhelming in that it’s a successful ‘sharpening of the pencil’, but totally overwhelming in that it’s brought in personality and an ownable identity. Nice work Leanne and team!

  • Brian Geretty September 13, 2023 at 2:06 pm

    They’re just brightly coloured circles, let’s not pretend Joe Public reads into them any deeper than that… dress it up however you like.

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