Contributed by Simon Manchipp of London-based SomeOne.
Over the past few months, we’ve had the pleasure of working with the Jimmy Mizen Foundation. The Jimmy Mizen story is a sad one, but also one of hope and determination. Something good out of something so bad. As it says on the website, the story of the foundation follows the death of Jimmy in 2008.
“Following the murder of our son Jimmy in May 2008, we as a family have been determined of two outcomes. We will not be beaten by his death, and that something good will come from it.
“We believe that the issues of anger, confrontation and violence in our communities will not be altered by ever harsher punishment and retributive action, we cannot expect the government or the police service to bring change by itself. The only way to change the thinking and attitude that is the root cause of the dysfunctional part of our society is by early intervention and education.”
Safety, wellbeing, and understanding is at the heart of the foundation — to the benefit of young people, and their communities.
We were approached to help the foundation become more focused, more coherent, and better able to support and promote their messages. In part thanks to the ongoing success of what the foundation represents, and it’s presence in so many areas, including festivals, a café in South London, school visits, events and conferences.
This involved looking at the existing proposition the brand identity, and the way the foundation presents itself.
Part of the existing identity included a white feather. When exploring how to refine and align the brand identity, we felt it important to retain this symbol within the creative development as this held such a strong story for the foundation. At the tragic scene of Jimmy’s death, Jimmy was found with a white feather floating next to him. This was seen to be significant to the moment. A touching, if sad symbol. It formed part of Jimmy’s final moments, and is now a vital part of the foundation therefore living on through the brand.
Rich Rhodes, design director explains. “We questioned what was really important — What is at the heart of the foundation? Why do they do what they do? Does it even need to be called a ‘foundation’? Which felt passive and static. The result of our questioning revolutionised the brand identity, no longer could the foundation be seen as static, or simply ‘a foundation’, but would have drive, passion, energy, modernity, a new meaning, a new name, in fact — what it’s all been about after all. ‘For Jimmy’.”
“Having SomeOne develop our brand has taken us to a new level. It’s inspired even more confidence and trust in our work. There’s nothing more powerful than hearing a child saying they’re doing this For Jimmy.”
— Barry and Margaret Mizen, MBEs
A bespoke version of Pluto Black was chosen for the text.
Renaming the foundation ‘For Jimmy’ placed Jimmy back at the heart of everything the foundation does and created a flexible, hard-hitting brand system. Employees, fundraisers, and supporters alike can now feel more purpose than ever before — Working for Jimmy, Fundraising For Jimmy, Campaigning For Jimmy.
The feather is symbolic and a core asset of the brand identity. In addition to being prominent in the main logotype, it functions as the quill of continuous line drawings that reflect the ongoing positive message of the foundation.
The new branding is now being delivered across all touchpoints within the many areas of the charity, digital and offline. And we hope that it helps communicate and deliver what are such vital messages of hope in todays world. For Jimmy.
Photo by Hayley Nia Thomas.