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Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation

“For a Mentally Healthier World”

The Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit facility for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. 

Since their foundation in 1985 as the ‘Mood Disorders Unit’ at Prince Henry Hospital, Sydney, they have been at the forefront of mental health research. 

Their work in mood disorders keeps evolving through their investigation of new and better ways to treat and prevent conditions like anxiety and depression through better marketing and communication, digital tools and novel treatments, impacting nationally and internationally with major initiatives including prevention campaigns. 

Sectors

Education / Health
Strategy / Branding
UI / UX / CX
Education / Health
Government / Corporate
Retail / Fitness
Technology / Finance
Environment / Sustainability
Not-for-Profit / Community
Lifestyle / Luxury
Place / Property

Services Completed

Business transformation
Advocacy / Engagement
UI / UX / CX
Place / Environments
Strategy / Branding
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Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation

Challenge

1 in 5 Australians will experience symptoms of mental illness in any given year. That’s around 5 million people. And roughly 60% of these people won’t seek help.

As the only medical research institute in Australia to investigate mental health across our lifespan, Black Dog aims to create a mentally healthier world for everyone.

They had a clearly articulated vision for a mentally healthier world, however they felt the brand was not reflecting their ethos and not explaining enough about how their work is impacting Australians’ mental health and the support they provide to people in need.

TOAST needed to give their brand a youthful refresh which will be more closely aligned with their mission and help engage discussion with people dealing with mental health issues. Also, it was critical for the branding to be strong while making Black Dog highly accessible to a range of audiences (particularly young First Nations people).

Our Solution

TOAST undertook extensive research and through a branding workshop developed a more streamlined, concise branding suite using the organisation’s core values and colour palette. 

First, we needed to understand how Black Dog's ‘translational’ research works and helps discover new solutions, fosters connections and enables the institute to drive evidence-informed change around mental health where it’s needed most.

A communication strategy was then developed redefining the brand language and visual assets, providing Black Dog with highly adaptive, reusable logos, imagery and messaging to generate engagement from multiple audiences, at multiple levels. The result is a more clear, concise brand that speaks across multiple platforms to bring the topic of mental health to the forefront.

Our strategic framework drove the name and design of a new brand, high in symbolism; Black Dog refers to Winston Churchill's term to describe his own depression.

His famous victory symbol and the dog's shadow pay respect to the fact that mental illness can be ever present, however it is not the definition of any individual. It is a fine balance and personal duality with two parts talking to each other:

  • Winston Churchill’s famous victory peace sign represents the positivity of overcoming (hope)
  • In the shade, a reference to his depression as his “Black Dog”; meaning that for someone living with a mental illness, it can shadow them, even in victory

The project was awarded Gold at the 2018 Sydney Design Awards in the Service – Community category.

Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand TransformationBlack Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand TransformationBlack Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
Black Dog Institute - Brand Transformation
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