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Everyone makes a mark

How do you design an identity for a hospice? I wanted to celebrate people's individual character, so they could end their life just as they lived it: on their own terms.

I was keen to create a logo that expressed individuality, so I started to experiment with mark-making. I asked other people to join in to increase variety, and each mark evolved almost like a fingerprint. The brief was for a hospice in Somerset, so I explored a warm colour palette to express the link between the word Somerset and the sun.

Part of the brief was to include a sunflower in the logo so I layered up an image of a sunflower on to the individual marks. I wanted the flower to look like a stamp, or a woodcut, that had been pressed into the marks, so it felt handmade and tactile. I liked how the coloured edges splayed out around the sunflower, almost like the glare from the sun on a hot day.

But what to do with so many logos? A logo is a visual short hand for a company, so it needs to be instantly recognisable, and consistency increases familiarity with the public. I decided that there needed to be one overall 'default' logo, and the other logos could represent different departments of the company, or even different case studies or stories. I chose the most regular shape for the default logo, and the orange brushstrokes informed the text colour.

I then started to explore how the logo might come to life in a layout. Could expressive mark-marking form a bigger part of the overall visual identity? I experimented with large white brush strokes as alternative text boxes, and a pencil line to highlight the final tagline.

The concept was that different case studies could have individual logos. I liked the idea that patients could create their own, and even those with limited capacity could stamp their finger. I thought there could be a wall of the individual marks in the hospice, to celebrate all of the people who had lived their last days there.

I then began to explore how the logo might work in a physical space, with large brushstrokes and expressive marks breaking up what is otherwise quite a clinical space.

I liked the idea of the default logo being used for public spaces, with individual spaces defined by separate marks.

Although this was developed for a hospice, I didn't want the brand to feel rigid. I wanted give it character and hand crafted touches so it felt individual and personal.

I wanted to convey that in this world, we all leave our own mark.

In the end, St Margaret's ended up going with a different idea. See their current website to look at their new visual identity.


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