By Eoghan|30th April 2024|5 Minutes

30th April 2024|5 Minutes

The old and the new.

Fresh off the shelves is a complete brand overhaul by creative agency Jones Knowles Ritchie for the world’s largest animal charity, the RSPCA.

I’ve been seeing this one catching some heat online for various reasons. Either people don’t like the vibrancy of the colours used, or they don’t like the flared font or the octagonal brandmark or they even find it too playful and informal for an organisation representing the welfare of animals. Personally though, I’m a fan. It’s a huge upgrade on the previous RSPCA logo, which was always too similar for comfort to the Durex logo for me.

Why it Works


The rebrand is part of an attempt by the RSPCA to move away from the cold, clinical and authoritarian styling of their previous identity, to something much more modern, dynamic and customisable. As seen in the image below, the wide array of bright and saturated secondary colours, along with the various animal icons means that each regional branch of the RSPCA can now decide on what works best for them. RSPCA branch at a seaside town? No problem, let’s use a seal or fish icon in our brandmark. RSPCA branch in a rural, agriculturally inclined area? The horse, pig or cow should cover it. City branch? An indoor animal like a chameleon will work. It covers all bases and, in my opinion, does so with style.

The animal icons give the new branding great flexibility. [Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR): RSPCA (Copyright © RSPCA, 2024)]

Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA explains below the rationale behind the rebrand:

We’re proud of our 200 year history, and we’ve achieved a lot, including changing more than 400 laws improving the lives of animals in labs, in farms, in homes and in the wild. But we have changed too and we know that, for many people, our old brand was out-of-date or off putting. We haven’t rebranded since the 1970s and it was holding us back from being the modern, forward-facing organisation we really want, and need, to be.

It isn’t just about a new logo, this is all about raising the profile of animal welfare and helping everyone understand that we can all play a part in improving animals’ lives. Our new brand will help us reach more people, people who may not have considered us, or their role in animal welfare, before. We want to build a movement for animals and the more people we can inspire to get involved, the more impact we can have for animals, now and for many years to come.

As part of the rebranding process, Jones Knowles Ritchie carried out deep research, traveling to various animal hospitals & centres, meeting with RSPCA volunteers, vets and wildlife experts across the UK. This allowed them to gain a comprehensive understanding of the lay of the land across the entire RSPCA operation and ensure that a brand was created that amplified those efforts, rather then restricting them.

Final Thoughts


[Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR): RSPCA (Copyright © RSPCA, 2024)]

As mentioned earlier, I’m a big fan of the new branding. I can see it becoming well-established in the coming years. It’s a refreshing change from the previous identity’s more conservative approach. The dynamic and interchangeable colours, styling, and elements are a massive plus for me. The brand embraces strong contrasts and unexpected colour combinations, rather than shying away from them. Subtlety seems to be taking a back seat, which is a bold choice for such a long-standing organisation that deals with serious issues. However, it’s great to see traditional branding rules being bent, if not broken, and new ideas taking hold.

With the RSPCA rebrand, we basically have a whole host of potential animal brandmarks that can be used in any given context. The wordmark will remain consistent and will no doubt be the focal point of the logo going forward, but the almost playful secondary features really give this brand potent adaptability. It’s going to be interesting to see how it gets used over the coming years.

[Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR): RSPCA (Copyright © RSPCA, 2024)]
[Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR): RSPCA (Copyright © RSPCA, 2024)]
[Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR): RSPCA (Copyright © RSPCA, 2024)]
[Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR): RSPCA (Copyright © RSPCA, 2024)]

About the Author


Portrait of Eoghan

Eoghan


I am an experienced designer who specialises in logo design & branding, website design & development, 3D modeling and photography. I enjoy learning about the history of design and studying the thought processes and design journeys of some of the most iconic brands in history.