More than half of the UK’s wildlife is in decline, including much of its vibrant birdlife.
With its “Let Nature Sing” campaign, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) wanted to put this environmental crisis on the national agenda — capturing the attention of politicians, the press, and the public alike.
We worked with creative collective Glimpse to devise a brand identity for the campaign. Our approach had to reflect the urgency of the situation, but also celebrate the majesty of birdlife and the dawn chorus.
We took a trip to the Lodge — the RSPB’s headquarters, situated on a beautiful nature reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire.
Here we spent a pleasant morning getting to know British birds. We also met with RSPB staff and researchers to learn about their work. Their insights and passion informed our creative, as did the sights and sounds of the Lodge itself.
The brand idea
Our campaign identity hinged on the majesty and natural beauty of the dawn chorus. Colour and typography choices intentionally echoed the RSPB’s rich brand heritage, while the use of rich imagery, gradients and graphic expression gave the campaign a bold and distinctive feel.
We used tones of blue, pink, orange and red — a palette derived from existing brand photography — to create a gradient for the logotype that mirrors the warm glow of dawn breaking. Graphic elements drift above the type, representing both the first rays of light and the first notes of the birds’ chorus.
We expanded on the graphic elements of the logotype, creating a full suite of “acoustic marks”. These ranged from quaver-like shapes and brushstrokes to familiar animal silhouettes.
The marks were used in campaign communications to express the life and musicality of the dawn chorus.
The gradient applied to the logotype became a defining characteristic of the campaign identity. Our gradients were created by editing real photos of nature: adjusting saturation, brightness, contrast and noise to create a dawn-like gradient canvas.
Our brand playbook gave the client clear instructions for this process, enabling them to create more gradients in the future.
The identity was used on posters, social cards and many other pieces of campaign collateral. It was also applied to the artwork and music video for the Let Nature Sing single, which featured the songs of 25 of the UK’s best-loved birds.
The single was played on Radio 4 and 6 Music, while the video earned primetime TV coverage, including BBC Breakfast and The One Show — bringing the campaign’s message (and our identity) to a huge, national audience.