The Elm Foundation

The Elm Foundation is a charity offering support services for those affected by domestic abuse. They turned to ESP looking to raise the organisation’s profile, to promote the work it does so it may continue to fundraise and sustain itself. The organisation was looking for a complete revision of it brand identity, previously using using a rather cumbersome acronym for its brand- DDVSAS (Derbyshire Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Service). Analysis also showed that its existing profile didn’t necessarily reflect the organisation’s culture, values or mission.

A branding and naming stratgy was therefore required, with development of all brand assets- logo, colour scheme, font choice, associated imagery etc. The new brand was then to be carried through to a newly developed website to ensure a strong online presence, providing a platform to communicate the charity’s key messages and promote the valuable work done. The new site was also required to signpost users to services and offer news and event info, as well as enable donations.

Services provided

  • Brand development and strategy
  • Brand Guidelines
  • Web design and development
  • Social media strategy



Brand Strategy

ESP enlisted the help of its associate company and brand specialist Tonik.Studio to implement the required brand strategy.

“Tonik carries out a very specific in-depth process that helps ensure design is on-point, will resonate with its audience and will help a company stand out”, says Conal Birtles, ESP’s digital designer and Front End developer.

“ESPs web team works closely with Tonik, to ensure all the developed design elements are carried through to the website..”

Tonik’s stringent process is carried out by its qualified and expeinced team of designers  and brand gurus, starting with a process of discovery, research and theme exploration to sound out the best approach. Design work is then done to create the required brand assets as part of a cohesive brand system, incorporating logo, font choice, colour scheme, patterns and associated imagery.

“Its important that we really get under the skin of an organisation to understand what makes it tick…” says Graham Jones, Tonik’s Commercial Manager.

“…we spent a good amount of time getting to know the guys at DDVSAS, and they put a lot of time and energy in communicating what they were about and what they hoped to achieve.”

“… they were so excited at the prospect of being able to explore their mission and purpose in a visual way, we loved w

orking with them from the initial ideas through to implementing on the website. They were 100% enthused by everything we did, making the whole process a joy!”

The key deliverable at the end of the brand process is a brand guidelines document. This is a valuable tool for any company, pin pointing how all the key elements of the brand should work and stipulating rules of application to ensure the new brand is kept consistent and professional.

Web Development

Following completion and sign-off of the brand, ESP set-about working with Tonik to design and develop the new website. The goals for the new site included:

  • Developing an online platform that was completely ‘on-brand’ and easy to use.
  • Providing a channel for communication to allow users to make contact and enquire about support services
  • Encouraging users to get involved through volunteering, or sign-up to access additional information and receive your monthly newsletter.
  • Presenting all the latest organisation news and events.
  • The possibility for growth and flexibility with ease of adding new features functionality.
  • The ability to publish a range of content including embedded video and social media content.
  • SEO tools so the site can be optimised to feature highly for relevant keywords.
  • Measurability- by being a marketing tool that will allow the client to gauge ROI.

The site was developed using the familiar WordPress CMS which is simple and intuitive for The Elm Foundation staff to use, so they could update their own content with relative ease. It is also fully responsive and tested so it displays well on a range of mobile devices.

The project was closely managed to ensure all content was gathered in a timely fashion, so the site was launched according to schedule. Full training was provided for The Elm Foundation’s key team members and ESP continue to host and support the site which is proving to be very popular. More information about our web services can be found in our web design section.

Online strategy

The next step was to ensure the site got seen by its target users. We therefore implemented a comprehensive social media strategy to help raise The Elm Foundation’s profile and furnish them with social ‘toolkit’, enabling them to be able to post content that was fully aligned with their brand, and with audience engagement in mind.

Research was carried out to understand audience, the most suitable channels and a schedule was formulated. Key deliverables included a comprehensive guidelines document featuring social media guidance, font choices, colour palettes, imagery, template examples & correct usage for each. We also produced editable .psd template files created for each social media platform, stationery, & emails. Tonik also provided training for key members of staff on how to carry out the above.

In summary, ESP has been able to reinvigorate a charity brand with a profile that better reflects the personality and ethics of its dedicated team, as well as create something that resonates with its target audience. Not only does the new brand identity look great, but it offers a comprehensive set of assets, for use across multiple channels. The new web platform also offers the perfect platform for The Elm Foundation to really promote its cause and encourage user interaction. The most exiting aspect of this project is that we hopefully have been able to raise awareness of The Elm Foundation’s cause and connect them to those who are seeking support.

ESP has supported dozens of charities and third sector organisations over the years, so we not only have the breadth of resource to be able to help charities with their goals from a technical perspective, but we have a good understanding of how charities generally work in terms of funding and organisational requirements. If you’re a charity looking to raise its profile, desperate for non-jargon guidance and consultancy, or simply stuck with an old site, please get in touch, or read our Charities page for more insight into ESP can offer.