Creating an Identity for Social Work England

In September 2018, we heard that Social Work England were looking for someone to help them craft a strong brand narrative and identity and we knew this was a project we had to bid for. We are in awe of the complex, challenging and absolutely vital role that social workers play in our society, and so we were over the moon to hear that after going through the competitive bidding process, their team had selected us for the project. 

Now that our work creating the brand identity is coming to a close - and their work as regulators is about to begin - Social Work England have written about the project, how the co-design process worked, and what it was like working with the HemingwayDesign team. You can read a bit about it below, or find the full blog post here

A New Identity for Social Work Regulation

Katie Florence - Head of Communications at Social Work England

Those of you browsing our channels might have noticed that we look a little different. To give you some context, Social Work England is set to become the new specialist regulator for social workers following legislation announced last year.

Our new legislation means that we can take a new approach to regulating the social work profession and our communication work reflects that. In September 2018 we launched a search to find a design agency who could tell our story–someone who could help us create an identity for a brand new organisation that is clear, consistent and engaging for our audiences. 

After a competitive process, HemingwayDesign were appointed to lead this work. This is an agency who thrive on working alongside people to create meaningful, research-led brands with a unique philosophy of ‘using design to improve things that matter in life’. Listening was also central to their pitch which resonated with our emerging ethos for Social Work England. This was an agency who would encourage us to be bolder and challenge traditional thinking.

At the start of our brand journey, and with HemingwayDesign in tow, we were clear that we wanted to co-create an identity with everyone who has an interest in social work including, of course, professionals and people who need their support. We wanted to try our best to understand the thoughts and feelings of these relationships, to ensure that our approach was grounded in reality, and not assumption.   

Work began at pace and through an online survey and focus groups, we constructed a real evidence base from which we could attempt to unpick and understand the complexity of the space in which we operate. This collaborative approach of course meant addressing some fundamental questions about our role, challenging our thinking even further, and going beyond simply creating a logo and some nice colour options.  

In early December and with nearly 1,000 responses to our survey, HemingwayDesign used this intelligence to develop our narrative, address key themes and translate thoughts and emotions into our identity and future brand. Throughout the process, we constantly wrestled with language to ensure that this work went beyond cliché marketing rhetoric and put this process of insight and learning at its core.  

In January 2019 and after further workshop refinement (including sessions with new staff members who need to live and breathe our identity), we were presented with potential concepts by HemingwayDesign. The winning design, which complemented our evolving language and emerging values as an organisation was born. The vibrancy of the colour palette, font style and simplicity of language reflect our new approach to delivering modern, effective social work regulation.

With a strong and recognisable brand under our belt, we are setting the tone of who we will become.

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