Scottish Mountain Rescue:
Scottish Mountain Rescue (SMR) is a representative and coordinating body for member Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) in Scotland. Their membership includes more than 850 volunteers between 24 member MRTs. In addition SMR also serves three Police Scotland MRTs and one RAF MRT.
MRT members are always on call; any day, any hour, any weather.
Don’t Walk have been providing graphic design services and consultancy to Scottish Mountain Rescue since 2017.
A route map to branding
Getting our bearings
Initially we assisted with the SMR 2016 Review, created merchandise and designed exhibition materials. We were exceptionally proud of our work on the annual review but recognised that there was much to be done to develop the charity’s brand identity and communications.
To really get under the skin of the organisation we discussed SMRs challenges with members of their executive and ran a brand workshop for their members at an SMR general meeting in Stirling.
In 2017 the organisation were in the process of updating their base signage, had held a joint parliamentary reception at Holyrood and were in the process of hiring a development officer.
The lay of the land
Next we gained a better understanding of SMR activities, its member teams and the people who volunteer with them. We visited the charity’s office in Aviemore, took a tour of member MRT bases, visited Ochils MRT as they supported a community event and joined Aberdeen MRT on their annual sponsored walk.
Conducting a brand audit flagged up technical issues with the SMR logo and highlighted the need for an expanded toolkit for SMRs graphic identity.
Icons and illustration
Whilst the logo was under development we created a suite of icons, illustrations and marketing messages for the organisation. Creating a cohesive set of pictorial assets begun to tie SMRs marketing materials together.
MRT volunteers regularly put their lives on hold to save the lives of others. It surprised us to find that the majority of those we spoke to did not think of themselves as extraordinary or heroic.
Whilst we disagree with them, we embraced the ‘power of the ordinary’ as an opportunity to highlight some of the more reasonable unreasonable things that they voluntarily do.
Variations on SMR’s logo appear on their volunteers clothing, teams vehicle livery, supporters kit, fundraising materials and merchandise across Scotland.
Their logo has good brand recognition and heritage. Graphically it predated the organisation’s name (which changed from the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland in 2014). Instead of reinventing the wheel at great expense the logo was redrawn to improve legibility and assist with production. This gives more control on type sizes, reproduces better in print and assists with manufacturing and fabrication requirements.
We created a set of brand guides detailing the various logos and badges used by the national organisation along with notes on their colour values and typefaces. SMR also own registered trade marks on various marketing messages. For the first time this information was all recored in one resource.
David Crozier, a Bristol based architect, was commissioned to transform the SMR logo in to manufacturing spec signage.
Following publication of the SMR Review 2016 Tiso offered to support print costs for the 2017 publication.
We created a newspaper version of the review specifically for members of both UK and Scottish parliaments. This allows elected representatives to consume information at a glance and the tabloid format hoped to encourage more engagement with SMR. The document accompanied a parliamentary reception at Holyrood.
Each member team has a rich heritage and strong identity of its own. To maintain overall brand consistency while allowing them to speak to their local audience, the 2017 SMR Review also allowed for personalised versions, for any team requiring it.
At the time of writing we are completing work on SMR’s 2018 Annual Review.
The brand work we have begun is only the start of the story and we look forward to developing our relationship with SMR and their member teams.