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Design Studio talk us through the award winning rebrand of WiD UK 

Pushing the boundaries of design

By Selina Akram, Creative Lead and Bill Cameron, Head of Design Studio, PA Consulting

“Women in Defence UK is an exceptional organisation, guided by a distinct mission. PA Consulting's Design Studio was proud to spearhead the brand refresh, resulting in an impactful modern and now award-winning design”. Bill Cameron

The Women in Defence UK brand has evolved organically. With a growing list of high-profile sponsors and allies – and a new website on its way — it was the perfect time for a brand refresh.

Guided by Emmeline Pankhurst's principle of 'Deeds not Words', Women in Defence UK’s purpose is to accelerate gender equity in the defence sector. Given this powerful mission statement it was incredibly important that we got the visual identity right.

Great design work has always had the power to promote equality. Through thoughtful design, you can challenge stereotypes, biases, and promote inclusivity. Vibrant visuals can inspire empathy, and foster understanding among communities.

The creative response

After an initial discovery phase, we constructed an architecture for the new visual identity, consisting of four pillars: Institutional; Partnerships; Programmes, products, and campaigns; and Awards.

Three key initiatives also required their own iconography: Critical Mass; Inspire; Challenge.

We analysed Women in Defence UK’s current brand touchpoints to create a leaner, more cohesive system for use across print, digital, events, and the web. We defined a distilled colour palette, selected new fonts, and revised brand lockups. The previous colour palette had expanded over time, risking inconsistent application and damaging brand recognition. The refined palette better connects with the brand’s essence, conveying strength, action, and purpose, while compelling consistent use across formats. Updating the brand fonts to visually express the Women in Defence UK legacy further acts as the backbone of their distinctive brand identity.

Focused on ‘modern heritage’, our solution evokes power, strength, intelligence, and commands respect. It reflects the timeless quality of the Women in Defence logo, which has represented the brand for over a decade and remains as powerful today as the organisation’s dedication to gender equity. As Women in Defence UK’s influence and audience mature and grow, the visual identity will support, reinforce, and propel their mission.

Gold award winner

We were thrilled that this project was chosen for a gold award at the MUSE Creative Awards 2024. This is an international awards programme that celebrates and honours excellence and innovation in creative design, advertising, and digital media.

Its mission is to ‘redefine benchmarks for recognising exceptional design and media contributions’. We’re proud that Women in Defence UK has been recognised in this context, it’s a resounding endorsement of both our commitment to pushing the boundaries of design and digital media and their commitment to advancing gender equity.