Studio Blackburn’s refreshed identity for the Canal and River Trust

By Sarah Dawood

Studio Blackburn has designed a new identity for the Canal and River Trust, a charity that maintains and regenerates waterways across England and Wales.

The studio has designed a circular symbol for the organisation’s new logo, which fades off into stripes further down. This aims to represent the reflection of a bridge on a canal, as well as water ripples, says Paul Blackburn, founder at the studio. It replaces a logo consisting of a swan swimming on a canal.

A water-themed colour palette accompanies the new logo, comprised of blue and green shades alongside white, and a “contemporary, friendly” sans-serif typeface, Modern Era. This has been used for the logotype, and across all copy.

An extended colour palette of orange and yellow has also been used across communications, which looks to reflect nature as well as water, adds Blackburn.

A new strapline “Making life better by water” accompanies the rebrand, which looks to represent the Canal and River Trust’s mission to transform canals and rivers into “spaces where local people want to spend time and feel better”, according to the charity.

Patterns that reflect water waves are printed on marketing communications such as posters and leaflets, alongside photography of people using canals and animals that dwell on water, such as swans.

Blackburn says the new visual identity was inspired by “the [charity’s] focus on bringing waterways alive” and “encouraging communities to come together to love and care for their local canal or river”.

The new branding is currently rolling out across all touchpoints, including print marketing materials such as posters, signage, merchandise, uniforms, internal print documents, charity vans and across the website and social media.

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