Wolff Olins rebrands Oxfam

Wolff Olins has created a new global identity for Oxfam, which will provide unified branding for the charity worldwide.


Oxfam was founded 70 years ago and operates as an international confederation of 15 organisations working across 90 countries.

Prior to the rebrand, each confederation, for example Oxfam GB, had its own identity. This new global identity will unite all the Oxfam organisations under one brand.

The consultancy was appointed to the project in July 2010 and worked alongside qualitative research company Flamingo to create new brand guidelines.

The new identity features a new colour palette and logo font, and the Oxfam workdmark has been capitalised.

Wolff Olins has also created a new tone-of-voice and colour and font palettes for Oxfam’s campaigns.

This new identity and tone-of-voice is built around the ‘practical visionary’ proposition, which Oxfam says, ‘means [we have] the vision to create major change, backed up with practical, effective solutions.

Campaign poster
Campaign poster

Oxfam says, ‘A poster in a shop window in Manchester will have the same identity as a leaflet produced in Oxfam Mexico.’

The aim of the rebrand was both to increase recognition of the charity and make cost savings through increase collaboration and sharing of materials.

Oxfam says the project has cost around £550 000, the cost of which is being split among Oxfam’s 15 affiliate country members.

Oxfam GB will pick up the greatest share of this cost, but, the charity says, ‘due to the benefits that Oxfam GB stands to gain through having a more unified and consistent brand then we think this is a worthwhile investment.’

Oxfam GB says the full cost will be less than 0.002 per cent of its annual turnover.

Hide Comments (13)Show Comments (13)
  • iain w November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Paul, of any interest ?

  • Rob November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    £550 000????

    They have basically robbed a charity.
    This could have been done by a smaller agency for much less.

    Whoever took this decision should loose their job!

  • Neil November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    It’s basically the webcam icon.

  • Thomas Moran November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    how many times do we need to see anger at the price tag of rebranding.
    it’s not just a logo they getting, its much more look at the website for startes before commenting .
    And what about beyond that; print, marketing, guilds for fundraisers etc. in a world-wide context.
    so before your jaw drops at the cost, think about the result.

  • claire November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I don’t think capital letters work for a charity company to be honest.
    For me this is not a rebranding, it’s just an updating?

    I don’t really like this change….

    have a great day!

  • Neil November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    We all have to look beyond the fact that Oxfam is a charity. It is effectively run as a global business and therefore any rebranding or design it needs should be created by a world class agency – I think most would agree that Wolff Olins fits that bill. If the new approach, new campaigns and new vision makes you or I give more, then their job is done. Let’s make judgement when we know the success (or failure) this new change brings and not concern ourselves with uppercase v lowercase typography.

  • talk_jana November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I have to agree with some comments here….let’s not be fast with judgments at early stages rather we should hope that this re-brand/visual up-date will work for Oxfam and it will bring unity and simplicity to the promotional material and publicity which will save a cost as a result…good luck!

  • The Critic November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    What no Lisa Simpson???

  • Jolanta Zute November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    So all they really did is change the type to uppercase for £500,000? great work – just like the Olympics logo…

    No to mention the type doesn’t even compliment the symbol aspect and as a whole logo looks disjointed. I wouldn’t mind seeing how much research and general design strategy goes into the work Wolff Olins produce.

  • Neil Townsend November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Hasn’t the shop frontage been changed in the last couple of years? I find it strange that they have to pay for new shop fits now because of the ‘update of the logo’. If it was me I would keep their existing logo but refresh their identity within their print literature and online. this would save Oxfam a lot of money. By darkening the colour and changing letter casing is not enough for the overall cost of the upheaval of changing everything.

  • Holly Joynes November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I’d really like to see the global change. I get the feeling that perhaps to bring everything into line they may have made a compromise to keep all strands recognisable.

    I think the previouse GB design had more humanity, but perhaps other countries needed something with less of that rough edge. If the design is the best solution for Oxfam globally then it’s worth the money, but I don’t think it’s an improvement on the previouse design in GB.

  • Bill Farmer November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Sorry – late to this discussion!

    I created the Oxfam logo and identity migration back in 98 when I was a senior designer at Interbrand in London. Back then the challenge was to unite 12 autonomous charities under one operational identity. A comprehensive global identity system was rolled out then as well, however, unless stake holders are prepared to embrace change and employ consistency, global organisations such as Oxfam will struggle to police their identity system.

    Giving it a typographical refresh is no solution.

    Rather than spending another half mil with WO would they have been better to invest in employing brand champions in their key global locations to police and give guidance?

    And why Wolff Olins? any one of a hundred London agencies could have done this at a fraction of the cost! Even Oxfam’s own design team, I wonder how they felt about the end result.

  • Sara Shelley November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I always find it rather strange when articles choose to only showcase the logo and perhaps a few visuals to show how the brands’ new visual language comes to life…surely we are now more aware than ever how branding isn’t just about the looks?

    I really think that perhaps we don’t do the work justice when we trivialize the kind of work that goes into making sure how a brand’s architecture is aligned with its proposition, which is then aligned with the donors and supporters values and perceptions, which is aligned with what the brand communicates and lives upto, and so on and so forth.

    Sure maybe the logo and the font isn’t to everyone’s taste, but maybe worth looking deeper?

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