Posted Aug 18, 2016
This year, we embarked upon a full rebranding process with FREE Branding & Digital in Edmonton. We are proud to unveil our new brand to clients, donors, staff and the community.
After 48 years, Edmonton Women’s Shelter has embraced a focus on WIN House, keeping the Women In Need acronym. The rebrand was a process several years in the making, so this marks a very exciting new beginning for the organization. We wanted to be seen as more than just an emergency shelter and put an emphasis on the programs we provide.
When we were established in 1968, our origin was typical to many shelters: mats set up on the floor of a church hall. The shelter has since evolved to a non-profit organization and we continue to provide emergency shelter and comprehensive support to women with or without children fleeing domestic abuse. Today, we have 3 dedicated houses that prioritize the most vulnerable women and provide access to crisis intervention workers, intensive case counsellors, child support, outreach workers, court support and referrals to community resources.
When we started this process, we were faced with some hard truths that come with being a non-profit organization. Donors and funders weren’t always aware of what WIN House offered, and the language, logo and brand did not convey the amount of warmth and humanity that accurately reflected the heart of WIN House. As we sat down to plan our strategy, we knew we needed an improved brand if we were to better serve and reach beyond the people who already knew us. To start the rebranding process, we launched 3 facilitated sessions with staff, stakeholders, clients and donors asking for feedback on how the organization was viewed in the community. From there, FREE Branding & Digital worked closely with us to create new language and imagery that truly captured the spirit of the organization.
It started with the umbrella. For over 40 years, it has been a symbol for “shelter from the storm” and in sticking with our grassroots the decision to keep it was easy. We also adopted a new tagline “I can act” to invoke an action whether you are a client or donor. In place of “act” we have also incorporated hand-rendered typography to humanize the perspectives of both survivors and supporters, to highlight positive and powerful language. The imagery used showcases a positive focus of strength, hope, love and help. Through storytelling, we want to empower our clients and tell them that they are not alone. There is hope and there is WIN House.
“Within our updated brand, I am happy to report we are confident that we were able to capture our essential history, positive reputation and the array of services we are able to provide. More important, we are hopeful we now have adequate tools to connect with you and other stakeholders in a meaningful way.” says Executive Director Tess Gordey.
With a new brand, we will build a stronger foundation for years to come. In turn we will be in a better position to achieve our mission to further non-violent relationships and environments for women with or without children.