UK Animal Charity Woodgreen Visualizes Love from a Pet’s Point of View

Posted inBranding & Identity Design

Pets are the type of friends everyone cherishes. Their constant support, kindness, and playfulness are lovely qualities that regularly surpass any expectations. This interspecies connection is at the heart of the new brand identity for UK pet charity Woodgreen, by Marina Willer and the Pentagram team. Woodgreen shelters vulnerable animals with and without homes, and you can see their work on the reality show The Dog House.

The nonprofit has an undeniably endearing motive, and its logo of a dog embraced in a hug is similarly likely to tug at your heartstrings. Its green and white color palette is both warm and naturalistic, evoking thoughts of a warm, healthy environment. Our pets are always there for us, and Woodgreen’s visuals successfully highlight how we need to be there for them.

Marina Willer and team have created a new brand identity for Woodgreen, one of England’s leading pet charities and home to the BAFTA-nominated TV series ‘The Dog House’ which matches homeless dogs with hopeful new owners.

Established in North London in 1924, Woodgreen provides a safe haven for vulnerable pets in need of urgent care or a loving new home. It also offers expert advice and hands-on support to owners of pets, not only dogs and cats but also a range of domestic animals including rodents and chickens.

With almost 100 years’ experience in rehabilitating pets with medical and behavioural needs, and understanding what makes the relationship between pets and people so special, Woodgreen’s aim is to help pets enjoy fulfilling, joyful lives with their humans.

Woodgreen’s unique point of difference is providing advice and support to prevent or resolve issues at the earliest possible stage, keeping pets in loving homes with their owners.

Marina was asked to create a brand that would represent Woodgreen in a clear and compelling way, and one that would inspire volunteers and staff to help effectively communicate the full range of Woodgreen’s services. 

The brand strategy needed to reflect Woodgreen’s unique position and focus on the bond between pets and people—without losing sight of pets being at the heart of the Woodgreen brand and the main focus of their work.

The identity developed by Marina and her team aims to fully reflect the breadth of activities and powerfully state Woodgreen’s special purpose. It occupies a unique position in today’s world that has a significantly higher pet population since the pandemic began, and a cost of living crisis which is leaving more pet owners in a vulnerable position than ever before.

At the centre of the brand identity, the team created a heartwarming symbol that captures the unbreakable bond between animals and humans—using positive and negative forms to visually represent how pets and humans are dependent on one another. The words ‘Helping pets and their people’ appear under the logo, which perfectly summarises the idea that Woodgreen always sees the relationship from a pet’s perspective.

The identity keeps Woodgreen’s primary colours of green and white. These are complemented by additional shades of green and a variety of warm tones which have been carefully selected to represent the natural environment.

The tone of voice works in a direct and conversational manner, either expressing the emotional and compassionate aspect of Woodgreen’s personality, or being optimistic, caring and approachable. Highlighting the emotional benefits and joyful connections between pets and people—with a touch of humour, as the messaging is often directed to the pet.

This is supported by simple and practical messaging which is more direct, to help talk to pet owners and anyone looking to adopt a pet. Providing information in a way that’s straightforward, without formalities or judgement about how they can seek support, help and care.

Imagery plays an important part in the brand expression—photographs of pets are taken at eye level to place the animals centre stage. This is supported by documentary-style imagery of professionals, the staff and volunteers that support Woodgreen—an integral part of the story, showing the behind the scenes aspects of the charity’s work. Additionally, images feature moments between animals and humans to highlight the bond between them, and emphasises Woodgreen’s mission.

The choice of typeface reflects a tonality and personality which has to be kind as well as highly skilled and professional. Colophon Foundry‘s Raisonne Pro (used in Bold, DemiBold and Book) is the primary typeface used throughout—contemporary and straightforward, it represents a voice that can flex across Woodgreen’s different styles of communication.

This all combines to create a brand that will help Woodgreen clearly communicate its key values, of compassion towards animals and their humans and the societal benefits that this special relationship can bring.

Clive Byles, Chief Executive Officer at Woodgreen, said: “For almost a hundred years, we’ve been dedicated to helping pets in need. That will never change, but the way we help pets—and their people—has. Today, we are able to do so much more for them, meaning our brand was no longer an accurate reflection of who we are and what we do.

“Marina and the team brought clarity to this complex challenge, creating a robust brand proposition and cut-through visual identity for Woodgreen that will help us differentiate ourselves from others in the sector and do even more for pets and their people.”

Project Credits
Marina Willer