Creating a new, fresh brand for the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit


The NPEU has been in existence for 40 years and is highly recognised within the medical sector. NPEU’s established but now dated brand, was in need of modernising and bringing up to date for a changing audience. It was important however, to do this without the risk of alienating or disengaging NPEU from their traditional audience.

The drivers for change

At the time of meeting us, NPEU’s existing branding was 13 years old, and used a soft, neutral set of greys with a pale petrol blue ITC Novarese (serif) primary font face. The main logo “device” representing a baby with a figure (mother, nurse, career etc.) had been created using a glassy, bubble-like appearance, popular at the time of conceptualisation.

During consultation we established that the NPEU now had two distinct primary audiences; medical practitioners and the general public. Whilst the incumbent “professional and formal” brand was recognised and appealed to the clinical/medical practitioners segment, it was less appealing to the general public and was perceived as being cold or stark

Brand touchpoints

Issues had arisen with the existing logo and branding when used across various mediums. Printed material would struggle to keep the logo’s clarity and definition whilst when presented digitally, the logo can appear washed out and lacking in contrast – especially to those viewing at distance or with visual impairments. Pairing the logo with additional logos and elements had proven problematic. Different units/trials had a variety of differing logos, which often resulted in the primary NPEU logo being obscured.

Consulting stakeholders

It was important that we involve and consult with the NPEU’s stakeholders. We worked with the NPEU project team to develop a clearly defined audience that would ensure fair representation of all identified stakeholders. We then engaged those stakeholders through a brand questionnaire and a set of follow up interviews with a core sample of those stakeholders.

Evolution or revolution?

With the feedback and data collected we produced a report detailing the requirements for the NPEU brand path development. We learnt that overall, the existing branding as a concept was well received both internal at the NPEU and externally. If an all-new logo device was created, with a different font and a new colour palette this may not be of benefit and could lose its recognition and brand reputation. Instead, the best route to take would be to tackle the weak points of the current branding and retain the strong areas.

A modern look with trusted elements

We used a stepped process to explore boundaries whilst staying true to the familiar and recognisable NPEU brand.

Brand development and rollout

With the approach being evolution, we developed a set of initial concepts that were then iteratively developed into the brand you’ll see today.

For rollout brand assets with the same visual concept was key. Armed with the knowledge from our research we developed a full range of assets conforming to the guidelines produced. This included assets for digital distribution, website, social media and social media campaigns as well as printed literature like stationery, communications, and marketing literature.