Repositioning a charity organisation with heart

Role Research, Design & Strategy
Employer Zero‐G, Dublin
Client Carmichael

Year 2017

Carmichael offer training and support services to non-profits nationwide to help them achieve their aims. They wanted to make sure people knew they were there to guide them. 



My colleagues and I conducted a site visit and a series of stakeholder and client interviews to get to the core of the value that Carmichael offers its service-users. We found that internally there was confusion articulating the focus of the centre’s activites. This confusion filtered out to their client organisations who valued their work, but were unaware of the full breadth of services on offer.

Defining the ‘brand’

Originally called ‘Carmichael Centre’ the name tied Carmichael to their Dublin-based residential centre, and foregrounded their accommodation services, rather than their broader remit of nationwide training and support.

We made the decision to remove the word ‘centre’ from their name. This simple change helped to flip the script to provide an umbrella under which both their primary and secondary purposes could neatly fit.

The civil sector is essential for a healthy and fair society. Good governance is key to improving trust in this critical sector.


We positioned Carmichael as a guiding light on the path to good governance. With that in mind, we developed a tag-line that was simple and clear: “Guiding nonprofits.”

We articulated their brand essence as a manifestation of the support they offer their client organisations, their deep sectoral expertise, and the effectiveness that they enable.

An engaging brand story helped to communicate this new articulation to the steering committee, to energise the team internally and to galvanise them around this new positioning. The narrative was uplifting and hopeful, and communicated the commitment to a better society shared by Carmichael and their clients.

A new identity

As a member of the design team I helped to visualise a new identity for Carmichael, shifting them towards a bright, people-focused expression. We wrote new copy to reflect their new positioning, and the optimism and postivity of the new brand.

Carmichael’s new identity places at the centre of their world the ordinary people who do extraordinary things everyday in the interest of the common good.


The outcome

The new identity has been rolled out across all Carmichael’s communications, allowing them stand out in a visually busy sector. It was well-received by the steering committee and the board of directors. CEO, Diarmuid Ó Corrbuí reported positively on the whole branding experience with Zero-G on local radio station Dublin City FM. Listen here. The project was also selected for inclusion in the 2018 100 Archive Selection.