Back Onside are a UK-based charity that seeks to improve the nation’s mental health through education, support and social inclusion. As their creative partners, we have worked together since 2019, helping to define the initial proposition and subsequent visual identity to help them reach as many people as possible.
The brand strategy centres around targetted ‘Support Through Sport’, connecting local initiatives with sporting organisations such as football and rugby clubs. The name ‘Back Onside’ is drawn from a footballing term which encourages people to return to an ‘onside’ position, allowing them to continue to play unimpeded. This invisible framework is intrinsic to the brand; an unspoken nudge to help anyone suffering from poor mental health to take control and return to a position of strength.
Working closely with the charity owners, we also created their new website — an online hub designed to share advice, promote events and act as a triage service for people in crisis.
Part of our brief was to refresh the existing brand identity, creating a new look and feel that would capture the essence of their ‘Support Through Sport’ mentality.
The design process resulted in a bright and energetic system that introduces subtle motion to show how the charity can bring people ‘back onside’. We then expressed the concept of taming ones mental health into the logo by organising the typography behind a metaphorical line to show control. The wordmark then animates to indicate that this process is never truly complete — it is an ongoing exercise that needs regular maintenance to bring order from chaos.
To make the charity and its services as accessible as possible, we created a bespoke website that people in need could quickly and easily find.
Following several consultations and workshops, it became clear that three distinct audience groups would benefit from the website. These were 1) people in crisis, 2) friends and family, and 3) those looking for general advice and ways to help. We used these learnings to inform the website structure, creating a triage service that would link through to a councillors phone in case of emergencies. Information was then gathered and shared across the new website to promote a better understanding of mental health while promoting events.
The website was also fully responsive. While this is an established web standard, we identified that many mental health services still do not offer a bespoke mobile experience. This insight encouraged us to design and develop the website using a ‘mobile first’ methodology, meaning all content can be easily accessed when users need it the most.
Back Onside continues to go from strength to strength, building long-term partnerships with sporting organisations and professional athletes up and down the country. As their creative partner, we are committed to long-term collaboration and finding new ways to help create networks of support through sport.