Connected Voice

A brand identity to galvanise and grow.

Enabling the voluntary and community sector to influence decision makers and supporting the sector as it’s voice, Newcastle CVS offers expert support and advice services to organisations, individuals and social enterprises across Newcastle and Gateshead, and has more than 700 members.

Nearing their 90th birthday, an incredible achievement in a challenging sector, they recognised the need for a brand identity that would position them for the next phase of their journey.

Research into audience perceptions of their name had raised issues, an inconsistency in that the organisation were known as NCVS, Newcastle CVS or Newcastle Council for Voluntary Service. There was confusion around the wording, ‘council’ and ‘voluntary’, not to mention the acronym. The locality had also grown, with services delivered to the wider region not just Newcastle. The new name needed a sense of purpose and an inclusive name with real meaning.

A second challenge was the brand architecture, NCVS had grown their services widely and had 4 strands to their organisation: Advocacy, Support and Development, Health and Race Equality Forum and Business and Finance – all of these sub-services had their own identity and audiences weren’t always aware of this vast connected activity. There was a huge opportunity to establish a brand architecture that could really galvanise the organisation and enable cross-promotion of these wider services.

We worked closely with the team across the organisation to facilitate interactive sessions, as well as sessions with the board and importantly with their member organisations. It was a fascinating process and highlighted many important attributes that have been integral to the creative and strategic direction.

We worked with the team to define the purpose and values that would underpin the organisation going forward and importantly reflected the key insight from the consultation. ‘We amplify voices’, ‘We champion equality’, ‘We inspire change’, ‘We support action’ and ‘We connect people’ became the new values. ‘Connecting people, supporting action’ was established as the purpose – connecting people through networks and partnerships and nodding to the history of supporting community action in the region for 90 years.

Aligned with the purpose and values, many names were generated, researched, checked with the charities commission, companies house and domain name. Research and checks at the naming stage was crucial and enabled us to make an informed and strategic recommendation for the new organisation name – Connected Voice, a name with true purpose and meaning.

‘Connected’ captures the importance of community and collaboration, working together to achieve more. It also speaks to connections within the organisation, providing a joined-up offering. ‘Voice’ represents the local voluntary sector and amplifying the voices of those who may not be heard individually.

Visually, the name is brought to life through a bold mark, symbolising the infinite relationships and reinforcing the connection concept. A colour change depicts each sub-service allowing each to have their own distinct colour yet feel part of the same organisation. This will support cross-promotion and raise awareness of the many services Connected Voice can provide.

A vibrant visual language supports the identity, using gradients to suggest movement and collaboration.

The new name and visual identity was revealed to members recently and we look forward to seeing the implementation across the organisation.

“We’re over the moon with our new name and brand. Taking a well-known local charity with a confusingly branded service offer along a complete re-brand journey has been a huge undertaking. Sarah and Michael were thorough in their research and perfectly captured the views from our staff, clients and trustees. This means our new brand really feels like us.

Sarah and Michael are highly experienced and knowledgeable about brands, design and charities, and they were always on hand to answer questions and offer advice. They surpassed all expectations and it felt like they were part of our team. We couldn’t have got to where we are on our own; I would highly recommend Altogether Creative if you are looking for support with anything brand related.”

Amy McKie
Marketing and Communications Officer