Our work for The Donkey Sanctuary

From an inconsistent visual identity
to a brand with selfless devotion at its heart

The Donkey Sanctuary was registered as a charity in 1973 and is now the world's largest donkey and mule charity with an annual budget of £24m. Since its formation by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE, the charity has provided a sanctuary for life for 14,500 donkeys and mules. It works across 28 countries and provides 400,000 treatments to donkeys every year.

Our brief
Initially we were asked to bring some coherence to The Donkey Sanctuary brand by looking at the colourways and structure of the current identity system. We quickly realised, following a visit to the Sidmouth Sanctuary, that there was a palpable and intense emotional feeling that was not being communicated by the existing brand design and structures - the almost spiritual feeling of 'love and devotion' exhibited by the carers, vets, trustees and supporters.

We set about challenging the charity to communicate what we saw, at every touchpoint. We presented a new brand proposition, not a makeover, which created heightened appeal and consistency for the charity as a visitor destination and as a worldwide animal charity.

Our solution
We wanted to take what was best from the current identity. Research showed that the supporters loved the use of illustrative donkeys. We built on this idea and develop an illustration that communicated a feeling of sanctuary, devotion and care. The resulting brand identity has created a clear and consistent badge and proposition for the charity that works internationally and across all media channels.

Extensive research by The Donkey Sanctuary showed that there was unanimous support for the change.

The Allotment were subsequently commissioned to develop every aspect of the brand including a revised monolithic brand acrchitecture. As part of this we developed a clear tone of voice and clarity across branded literature, environmental graphics and way finding systems, livery, campaigns and point of sale.

We also created an extensive set of brand guidelines for use by the charity's own design and marketing teams around the world.

We created
Brand architecture, brand identity, brand guidelines, campaign communications, signage, vehicle livery, merchandise and web design.

Growing The Donkey Sanctuary

“The Allotment have articulated why The Donkey Sanctuary is such a loved and caring organisation into an inspiring brand that speaks consistently across multi-channel touch points.”

Mark Cross
Brand & Design Manager
The Donkey Sanctuary