Getting the Messages
STUDIO / DESIGNER
Úna Healy Design
Úna Healy (Lead Designer). Photographer – Fennell Photography
Design Challenge and Design Ideas
This Dublin City Council initiative was designed to support those living with dementia and their carers, to make it easier for them to shop in their local communities. A full branding was required which included the naming of the project. The tone of the project was one of reminiscence, to speak in particular, to the elderly person with dementia. It involved supports such as signage, appropriate displays and a seating area to create a more inclusive and dementia friendly environment. Staff training was also to be supplied, with visual supports. The style of lettering used had to comply to NALA standards. Colours and contrast were to adhere to guidelines supplied by The Alzheimer Society Of Ireland. We were required to come up with a distinctive and original concept that was very different from logos already out there, that are associated with other dementia organisations and events.
How the brief was fulfilled
Recalling days gone by, when going to the shops was referred to as ‘getting the messages’, we wanted to spark an evocative memory in the mind of the person with dementia. The phrase Getting the Messages also speaks to the general public who need to ‘get the message’ about how prevalent dementia is becoming in our society, how we need to accept that dementia sufferers are becoming more commonplace and how we need to be a more dementia inclusive society. This brand name was tested out on members of the ‘Forget-Me-Not’ dementia inclusive choir. It struck a chord with the elderly dementia sufferers and brought back nostalgic memories to many of them.
The logo design is based on two premises. Firstly, there are the two connected hands with intertwined fingers. These fingers form a weave reminiscent of the weave of a shopping basket. One hand portrays that of the person with dementia and the other, the hand of the wider community. They join together in creating a unified, assisted, supported and safe shopping experience for the person with dementia. The overall look of the logo had to be clear and memorable to people with cognitive difficulties. Our research showed us that it was recognisable as both a shopping basket and interlocked hands.
The colours are opposites on the colour wheel and this creates the highest possible contrast which is crucial for many people with dementia. The font, while it has the strength of a sans serif font, it also has the legibility of a serif typeface. This creates a softer and more informal feel to the word styling. In accordance with NALA guidelines, the wording uses upper and lower case for ease of reading.
The logo needed to be both visual and literal for the various types of dementia learning. The logo mark of the hands forming the shopping basket is for the visual learner. The ‘Getting the Messages’ is the evocative and emotive line – for the linguistic / verbal learner. The tag line Dementia Inclusive Shopping is descriptive for the verbal / linguistic learner.
This branding works well across all platforms. It is bright, clear and the messaging is easy to understand. These high contrast colours were used across all signage and visual materials. In a busy shopping environment the branding stood out and made the shopping experience more coherent for the person with dementia and their carer. From the directional signage throughout the shop, the badges on the specially designated helpers, to the money guide at each checkout, the shopper has come to know that this branding is there to create a more pleasant and supportive shopping experience for them.