Building a charity brand for the global stage
We evolved ACT, Ardonagh Community Trust, into a brand of its own, creating a distinctive verbal and visual identity that captures the spirit of opportunity behind The Ardonagh Group. The result is a bold digital experience that tells ACT’s story from the first act through to its latest fundraising efforts.
ACT is the registered charity from The Ardonagh Group, one of the world’s leading independent broker groups. It was launched in 2017 to channel its people’s spirit into causes that not only impact communities, society and the environment but reward people, too.
Our brief was to elevate the ACT brand, turning it into an independent identity with global reach. As part of this new brand strategy, we developed a focused digital presence for ACT that would help the brand to stand up on the global stage.
A brand that acts
We interviewed key stakeholders, reviewed ACT’s existing documentation and grant applications and performed audience research, looking at similar charitable organisations to discover how ACT stood out from the crowd – and how we could evolve it into a brand with a clear vision and voice.
One of the first things we noticed was the name – and how it was used by people close to the brand. The Ardonagh Community Trust is often described by its simple yet punchy acronym, ACT. We decided to lean into this language, leading with ACT, a name that clearly reflects its purpose.
ACT’s vision is rooted and defined by the Ardonagh people raising money for, volunteering in and advocating for their local communities. So when working on the digital development of ACT’s new brand, we focused the messaging on the human impact of its charitable work and the inspiring real stories behind it.
We also expanded the website’s content to include ACT’s latest efforts in the sustainability field and made the language work for the brand, with core pillars of charitable activity now being called “Actions”.
Clean and clear design
We wanted the ACT digital experience to have its own distinguishable brand identity. This needed to acknowledge and reflect its connection to The Ardonagh Group but feel independent.
We started by introducing elements to create ACT’s own unique style. We played with scale, bringing in lines and overlapping shapes and imagery. And we expanded the existing colour palette to make greater use of secondary colours across ACT’s “Actions”, which gave each pillar of ACT’s work its own identity.
When building this new brand experience for ACT, we also made subtle references to The Ardonagh Group by using a similar site structure and selecting images of real Ardonagh people.
The overriding goal of the website’s visual identity was clarity. Alongside the new colours and shapes, we always sought to maintain a clean and clear hierarchy of information across pages by leaning into the white space of the page. This reflected ACT as a brand with a clear, bold vision of its own.