Tentacle and Synergy strategy for Guide Dogs

Two London-based design consultancies have been drafted in to rebrand The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, as it shifts its core focus away from guide dogs to blind and visually impaired people for the first time.

Tentacle has been appointed after a three-way pitch to look at the overall branding of the organisation, including stationery and exhibition design, and the Association’s website is being re-designed by Synergy, which won the work after a five-way pitch.

The Guide Dogs Association is widening its remit to improve the lives of visually-impaired as well as blind people, and wants the new designs to reflect this. According to Tentacle director Gregory Anderson, the rebranding may include a new identity. “We are toying with the idea of a new logo – the current marque is well-established but outdated. It features the figure of a suited man with a dog in the foreground, which does not illustrate the changing focus of the organisation,” he says.

Paul Day, the Association’s communications manager, says guide dogs will play a subsidiary role, rather than the main part, of the organisation’s rebranding. He has not ruled out a new logo but has no plans for a name change at the moment.

Synergy is developing the new website, accessible to both blind and partially sighted visitors, which is due to go live in early September.

The partially sighted can adapt pages to their own requirements, such as enlarging the text point size and altering the background colour to suit their needs. “We are keeping java script and animated gifs to a minimum to maintain simplicity,” says Synergy managing director Dianne Ceresa. Totally blind visitors can use text-reading browsers to listen to the Web content.

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