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The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID)

By SomeOne
The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), is a charity working on behalf of the 1 in 5 adults in the UK who are deaf, have hearing loss or the 1 in 8 with tinnitus. The organisation came to SomeOne to help manage the most significant changes since it opened 109 years ago.

New management teams, a new strategy, new focus and a new remote working structure — combined with a move away from their current name ‘Action on Hearing Loss’ — to their original RNID brand name.

The return to the household name, which dates back to 1911, is part of our ambitious plans to reach more of the 1 in 5 adults in the UK who are deaf or have hearing loss and the 1 in 8 who have tinnitus.

The focus on the daily issues deaf people have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the barriers to communication caused by face coverings, has highlighted the need for us to be a stronger brand.

We carried out research with 6,000 people which led to our new strategy and brand purpose, which is that “Together, we will make life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus.”

The research found that RNID was still more popular and more trusted by the public, despite the name not being used since 2011. People told us that the current brand did not reflect the charity’s history or communicate the amazing work they do.

The move to adopt the ‘Royal National Institute for Deaf People’ nomenclature cements a progressive and competitive new direction for a well established leader in global matters concerning the inclusion of the deaf, hard of hearing and people with tinnitus. 

With a new name agreed — we set out to create a new wordmark from the four letters. There are several Royal National Institutes, and the construct is a familiar one to the UK public… but only one for deaf people. So we highlighted that part through the introduction of a colon — or eyes — to highlight the ‘D’ — or smile… because when the brand needs to use a symbol — the original text-based emoji ‘smiling face’ can be deployed.

Smoother, softer and kinder colours help the brand be selected in an ever crowded space.

A new set of 10 playful speech bubbles were developed to enable the ‘positive protest’ headlines take centre stage on communications.

We chose to photograph people who, while deaf, signalled a positive attitude. We also combined the photography with the bold graphic shape made by the ‘Smiling D’.