Branding that focuses on the power of evidence

Nuffield Foundation
Branding, Publication design, Strategy

Although much has changed in the years since the Nuffield Foundation was first established, the original vision of this charitable trust remains the same. Our rebrand sets out to pay tribute to the past and chart a course for the future.

A collage of publications in the Nuffield Foundation brand.

The Nuffield Foundation was established in 1943, a few months after the Beveridge Report had laid the foundations of the welfare state. It was founded to support ‘the advancement of social well-being’ – and it’s a mission that continues to drive their work to this day.

A collage of images and text, based around the theme of research.

We immersed ourselves in Nuffield’s culture and brand, running interviews and workshops to uncover what made the Foundation tick. We identified a number of key themes that spanned the Foundation’s activities and would resonate with a range of audiences, distilling them down into one core idea – the power of evidence to change lives.

An image of a parent and two children, with the text "Enable new thinking".
(Left) a timeline from a publication, (right) a publication cover with the title "Growing up digital".

At the centre of the identity is the N frame logo that embodies its approach. As a funder, the Nuffield Foundation offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects it funds it gives voice to a bigger, bolder story, and is able to strengthen their collective impact. This powerful connecting role became the guiding principle for the development of the visual identity.  The visual identity’s tone of voice is perfectly expressed through Founders Grotesk family (by Klim Type Foundry); a modern font with roots in older type styles that nods to the heritage of the Foundation. 

A close-up view of the Nuffield Foundation logo, showing the alignment of the text and frame elements.

The frame is applied throughout the identity. As an ever-changing expression, the bold application signals that the Foundation is open to new ideas and not afraid to experiment. It’s present in the details big and small, with the same DNA running through all brand assets, from icons to data visualisations.

As well as establishing a new positioning for the master organisation, we developed a modern and flexible brand architecture to bring together its range of sub-brands and that could serve as a model for future growth.

A strategic goal from the brand guidelines: "Strategic goal two - evidence, data and digital society: We will work to improve the accessibility, use, and collection of the evidence and data necessary to understand the issues affecting people's life chances. We will consider the broader implications of a digital society".
A collage of inside pages from the brand guidelines.

The reimagined colour palette is a nod to the Foundation’s heritage, inspired by the iconic colours of the vehicles produced by Morris Motors – the business established by the Foundation’s creator, Lord Nuffield. As well as refreshing the brand green, we introduced a new secondary palette.  The result is a colourful, flexible brand that feels approachable and playful, yet rigorous and clear.

The Nuffield Foundation is now ready to begin its next chapter. We continue to work with the Foundation to help bring this living identity to life across all channels and touchpoints, including its flagship Annual Report.

A collage of inside pages from Nuffield Foundation publications.
A stack of Annual Reports from 2018.
A collage of inside pages from Nuffield Foundation publications, focusing on an infographics page.
A collage of inside pages from Nuffield Foundation publications, focusing on a text-led page with an extract.

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