No Pens Day Wednesday

Branding spoken language

Oracy. It’s effective verbal communication – and an important life skill. Yet it’s underrepresented in the school curriculum. No Pens Day Wednesday is a national day of speaking and listening activities that takes place in schools and other settings across the country.

In being brought in to brand this year’s event, that has been the first challenge: how do we make the verbal visual, how do we make it active and how do we make it understandable for people with a range of disabilities, including autism?

The second challenge has been making the brand usable for both of the event’s partner organisations, I CAN and The Communication Trust.

The event is popular and it’s successful. So for design, the third question has been whether we should retain some recognisable visual elements, to communicate an event in a strong series.

I’ve retained a speech bubble as the visual theme for the event. It’s bold, it’s communicative – and a speech bubble appears in both partners’ visual identities. So their two symbols and their colour palettes have been combined for this year’s logo, available in a range of colourways to help with differentiating early years, primary and secondary activities.

Both organisations are careful to use typefaces that are readable for users with a range of disabilities. This year, that good practice carries on, designing-in economy by choosing a core font that’s free to access for designers.

And together, we’ve chosen library pictures that show what we mean when we talk about this active day.

There’s been added value too. Though it wasn’t in the brief, I noticed that some schools run their events on alternative days and wondered if those schools were having to make and print additional information. So alongside the PDF posters, there’s now a set of Word versions with an editable date.

Interested? You can find out more and download resources here.