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5 December 2022

Key rebrands to reach more people

South Tyneside charity Key has revealed its exciting new brand identity, including new logo, new strapline, and website redesign, to connect with wider audiences and improve access to its services, as well as to maximise income and raise its profile in the region.

For almost 30 years, the charity, formerly known as Key Project, has provided a range of housing advice, support, and accommodation services to young people at risk of homelessness, and their families, as well as helping local people experiencing hardship through delivery of Key to Life Foodbank.

The charity has significantly changed in the past few years, doubling in size, and expanding its operations beyond its original remit of tackling youth homelessness, food bank and prevention work to include employability support and mental health support too. Demand for its services and expertise remains huge.

A rebrand, to represent the true scale of the vast, life changing activity that the team at Key deliver every day to young people, children, and families across South Tyneside, and to appeal widely to its different audiences, as well as to reposition the charity for the next phase of its journey, was identified as an urgent priority.

The charity engaged the services of branding communication experts Altogether Creative whose ethos is to create interesting and impactful work with ambitious organisations and get involved in projects where they can truly make a difference.

To inspire pride and ownership in the brand from the very beginning, internal stakeholders participated in the journey from the outset. Following a site visit and initial deep scoping discussion with the project management team, Altogether facilitated separate discovery sessions to consult with young people, staff and trustees.

It was unanimous that the existing brand name ‘Key Project’ had not been suitable for some time, that ‘project’ implied something small and short-term whereas the organisation today is a medium sized notable local charity employing over 30 staff and working in collaboration with a range of talented partners to make South Tyneside an outstanding place to live.

Additionally, that a new logo and strapline was needed to better reflect the essence of Key and encapsulate what it stands for, its culture, identity, and personality. What really shone through in feedback from workshop participants was the recurrent theme of Key giving young people a direction and helping them find a way forward, which of course is different for everyone.

‘Finding a way forward with young people and their families’ was subsequently chosen as the fitting new strapline and this is visually represented in the powerful new logo with the letterforms ‘K-e-y’ adapted to weave in a pathway and directional arrow, reflecting individuals being guided to future opportunities and to fulfil their potential.

Key’s activity and services have a broad reach; the guiding arrow of support also comes to life in Key’s new foodbank identity and in the new logos for each of its subsidiaries: Key to Life (replacing Key2Life); Key Homes, Key Wellbeing, Key Support and Key Prevention.

New brand guidelines communicate how Key’s new brand identity should be represented to its audiences with logo, colour palette, imagery, typography, and messaging coming together to give a distinct look and feel to Key’s communications through all its touch points – including a fresh look for its head office signage, van livery and staff uniform too.

The new and improved website is much more welcoming and contemporary in design, represents the organisation as it is today, and provides clear user routes for, and supports more engagement with, all of Key’s stakeholders, allowing visitors a simpler way to learn about the charity and the services it provides, including how they can get help, or support its vital work.

Ross Allen, chief executive officer at Key, said: “We’ve changed a lot since our charity was first established, particularly over the last few years when we’ve had to expand at a rapid rate to meet the unprecedented demand for all our services, exacerbated by the pandemic.”

“Moving forward we needed to make sure all these changes were reflected in our identity, so our different audiences have a better understanding of who we are and what we do. Our new website and brand will help us reach and support more people and make it easy for them to know where to go to get help.”

“It was important to us to create a brand identity that everyone truly believes in, so this comes after extensive consultation with a range of our young people with lived experience of youth homelessness as well as staff, volunteers, and trustees from our charity.”

Read more about the journey behind our new brand identity.