Ashgate Hospice — An accessible identity — Brand Ethos
Ashgate Hospice supports people living with a life-limiting illness and their loved ones across north Derbyshire. They are the beating heart of a large community of medical professionals, volunteers, truck drivers, retail assistants, fun runners and more.

The team approached us to redesign their visual identity to unify their current and future activities and bring the quality of their care and compassion to the fore.

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Ready for the future

Ashgate Hospice has been supporting communities across north Derbyshire since 1988. The exceptional loyalty of Ashgate’s donors, volunteers and shoppers is testament to the quality of care the team provides to people with life-limiting illnesses and their loved ones.

Only 30% of Ashgate Hospice’s funding comes from local NHS budgets and, like many hospices, it relies on charitable income from its charity shops, lottery, fundraising, donations and bequests.

With a new strategy in place post-pandemic, and a desire to bring all activities under one branded roof, we were invited to work with Ashgate Hospice to develop an identity that reflected its values, celebrated past achievements, and was fit for purpose for the retail and digital demands of a modern hospice.

A heart at Ashgate Hospice’s heart

As Barbara-Anne Walker, chief executive at Ashgate Hospice, points out, starting the rebrand meant they needed to take a deep breath.

“We were a little nervous to alter our brand as the hospice is so well loved by our community. However, we knew we needed to modernise to ensure our future,” she told us. “I am delighted to say that we had absolutely nothing to worry about! Brand Ethos updated our brand and proposition with the care and attention it deserved and it has been extremely well received. In fact, we haven’t had a single negative comment, which is testament to their hard work and dedication.”

Successive branding projects across Ashgate Hospice’s range of activities had left them with a muddle of logos and messages. Critically, it wasn’t always clear to people donating or shopping that their funds were benefitting the hospice directly.

We set about to unify the identity, bringing staff and volunteers with us, and making sure that the costs to rollout the new brand were kept to a minimum.

The hospice sector is awash with heart logos. However, the existing Ashgate Hospice heart logo was felt by the whole team to be emblematic of the compassion people encountered and the care given. They didn’t want to lose it, so we created a new logo that kept the heart, but with a distinctively Ashgate Hospice feel.

Designers Stefania Biagini and Karen Davison drew a warmer, more contemporary heart incorporating the A of Ashgate. Our partners Trafik then animated the logo, enabling the two sides of the heart to come together in a hug. We were delighted with the universally positive response to the logo from those working and volunteering across the charity.” Lisa Cromer, design director at Brand Ethos

The colour of compassion

The colour palette needed to reflect the hospice’s history. Their traditional purple was updated to a warmer and more uplifting shade with pink added to tie in with the charity’s annual fundraising event, the Sparkle Night Walk. Bringing the colours of these brands together makes the new logo pop with warmth. The rest of the palette took its inspiration from Ashgate Hospice’s surrounding landscape and all colours were chosen to comply with web accessibility standards.

We then created a set of hand-drawn icons, in the style of the heart logo, illustrating Ashgate’s values, clinical services and main fundraising events. We chose a free-to-use modern, accessible typeface with curves that complemented the warmth of the logo. The new reportage-style brand photography taken by Tom Hodgson – a volunteer – added further warmth by focusing on the people giving and receiving care.

Project Simply updated the website, bringing our identity to life. Brand strategist Peter Mills created a brand hierarchy decision tree to ensure any future branding sits comfortably within the new brand family.

You can see Ashgate Hospice’s new website at