Delightful Ethical Digital
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Free Tibet

Protest imagery and visions of hope drive a bold new brand and website

Read the case study

The challenge

Since 1950, the Tibetan people have been silenced. Through attempts to erase the language, culture and the people of Tibet themselves, China has sought to silence the rights of innocent people through its occupation of the country.

Founded in 1987 as the Tibet Support Group, Free Tibet has a long and proud history of exposing the atrocities being committed in Tibet, leading campaigns that capture the attention of global media and ultimately support Tibetan people around the world in their mission to be free.

New brand guidelines for Free Tibet
The new brand direction couples a vibrant palette and bold type.

The brief

Free Tibet’s previous imagery and brand failed to match the ambition and campaigning nature of the organisation. Previous logos and motifs focused largely around signifiers and were majority text-based, with little consistency in place for use of these across platforms or collateral material. 

The new brand needed to exercise a balance between two central themes: hope and activism. The new vision needed to be flexible with the ability to deliver different messaging at different times, to different audiences. The tone of voice and brand assets needed to simultaneously reassure existing supporters of progress in the mission to Free Tibet, while attracting new, change-driven people to the cause. ‘Free Tibet’ needed to stop being a slogan and start becoming a command.

The existing website, while also being restricted by the outdated brand, could not effectively amplify Tibetan resistance. The previous platform lagged behind other campaigning peers in its ability to direct supporters towards taking action and highlighting their impact.

Free Tibet new brand poster
Protest and change are at the heart of the developed brand visuality.

The process

Following a visual brand audit, the decision was taken to reposition Free Tibet as a protest focused organisation valuing anger over rage, frankness not fatalism and solidarity, not sympathy. The centrepiece of the developed brand is the new powerful and urgent logo which contains motifs present in the flag of Tibet and presents a vibrant new colour palette symptomatic of hope and a new dawn for the country’s future.

The new typography partners Beni Bold for headlines with Rubik for body texts to create a sense of hard-hitting ‘matter-of-fact’ tone across materials while assuring legibility and clarity. Moreover, a new photographic direction balances images of defiance displayed by Tibetan people and their supporters with pastoral scenes of the country’s landscape to garner emotive reactions to the oppression of the land and its citizens. 

The new, action-focused brand translates to a clean and simplified website that provides users with intuitive journeys on how to find information, get involved with the organisation or donate to their cause. Highlighted feature boxes provide a distinct nature to the latest news stories and a campaign component measures the progress of any given campaign and updates with live signatures to petitions.

Free Tibet on mobile
Free Tibet
Free Tibet tee shirt
The new logo features a Tibetan palette and cultural motifs while the exclamation mark envokes urgency and action.

The solution

The result is a refreshed and newly focused brand with a bold sense of purpose that is distinctly modern. Driven by protest and the purpose message that Tibet is the least free country on earth the organisation is attracting a younger, more diverse audience and is now equipped to create leading campaigns and drive media engagement.

From a digital perspective, the website provides an online foundation for the organisation’s cause of freeing the people of Tibet. Acting as a hub for information, change and merchandise the website marks a new era for the organisation, futureproofing its activities for years to come.

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