2018: SMA Support UK and The SMA Trust merge
The Merger: In September 2018, after extremely positive feedback from the SMA Community, The SMA Trust and SMA Support UK merged to become Spinal Muscular Atrophy UK. The next step was the challenging task of finding a way to reflect the legacy of the two charities in a new logo and brand.
Supporters led the way: We listened to as many different points of view as possible, consulting with a large sample of supporters from both previous charities – adults with SMA, families who have children with SMA, and families who have sadly been bereaved by SMA.
What they said: Many told us that, although vital, research is more of a concern at a later stage. They felt the SMA Trust’s chromosome logo, was more medical, a bit colder, but still positively progressive. Also, they pointed out that genetic symbols and imagery are regularly now used for a range of ‘brands’ - from medical conditions to genome analysis - and would struggle to be unique
Families of children with SMA told us that after initial diagnosis, when they had been looking for an organisation to help, a caring, nurturing feel was key. The SMA Support UK logo worked for them, with its softer lines, described by some as looking like it’s cradling and supporting. (For the full story about why this logo - based on a koru or unfurling frond - had been used by SMA Support UK, please click here.)
All said they didn’t want to see us start again with a complete re-brand of the organisation. They wanted to see an evolution of what we had, a respect for the amazing work already completed by both charities and as little money spent on the whole process as possible.
The design: Based on this feedback our designer created our new logo evolving the koru, which our supporter consultation group really liked. The image was hand drawn to retain gentle lines and uniqueness. Our name appeared in a softer font, to show our charity’s supportive and open approach and, following our supporters’ advice, we used the blue/teal colour of The SMA Trust.
We hope you will agree that we now have a logo that will take us into the future. Electronic changes on our website are straightforward and we will finish using up the very limited stocks we have of any printed leaflets and stationery. We will be rolling out the changes to our branding over the coming weeks. We can honestly say this has been all been achieved at a really low cost and can’t thank our supporters enough for their guidance throughout.