Designing for Change-Makers

Posted by on Sep 28, 2017 in , | No Comments

We work with clients in many different sectors at Drive, from start-up tech companies to global performance-wear brands. Agency life thrives on this myriad of projects and client types, as we learn something new from each project to bring a different perspective to the next. One client type that we find we’re working with more than ever are termed ‘change-makers’ – people working with a personal passion to make a real social, ethical, sustainable or environmental difference.

These can take the form of traditional charitable organisations and NGOs, through to companies producing their goods or supplying their services in a way that is beneficial to the environment or to society. Drive has worked with many charities and change-makers over the years – we find that our work with them provides a very unique and humbling form of satisfaction, parallel to a designer’s pride, or seeing a campaign pay off.

Last year in the UK, 61% of the population made charitable donations, topping £9.7 billion in total.(1) This amount was raised in a variety of ways, with £185 million through cake sales alone – we Brits do love our cake! Meanwhile, in 2016 online donations via websites, apps and social media increased by 7.9% year-on-year.(2)

With the number of donations made online (and the amount of each donation) enjoying a steady increase, it’s no wonder that more change-makers are recognising the value of a strong online and social media presence, and Drive are well versed to help them achieve their ambitious goals.

With our experience and ability to get under the skin of a company to understand what drives them and their audience, we’re fast making a name for ourselves as the creators of charity websites, campaign collateral, product design and social media content. At the same time, the charities and sustainable or socially-minded businesses we work with are seeing the difference – here are some examples:



UK-based shark and marine conservation charity Bite-Back is on a mission to ban the importation and sale of shark fin in Britain.

Founded in 2004, the charity has seen great success in banning the sale of endangered marine life nationwide. It has empowered its supporters to help change the way in which fish is consumed, and it has rallied conservationists and celebrity endorsement to its cause. The action can’t happen fast enough, with a staggering two sharks per second killed globally.

Bite-Back relies on donations to defend the high seas on the high street and to educate people about the issues that face the only truly wild items stocked by supermarkets.

Drive helped Bite-Back to evaluate their web presence, user journey and, importantly, donations model to clarify their goals, messaging and rally cry. Now, a revitalised brand identity and strategy applied to an all-new website design has firmly placed Bite-Back at the forefront of marine conservation.

Part of this involved a re-design of Bite-Back’s e-shop. With 40% of donors in the last year buying goods as a donation method, strong e-commerce is an important way of both the donor giving funds, and the charity receiving them.(3)

Graham Buckingham, Bite-Back founder, said this about our involvement:

“I think the new site looks stunning. I think it’s the best thing that’s happened to the shark conservation charity arena in the last five years. It’s smart, it’s bold, it’s unapologetic and it takes Bite-Back forward with clarity, style and credibility. I’m grateful to you for accepting the challenge, exceeding the brief, adding creativity and function (in bucket loads), and doing it all with enthusiasm, professionalism and attention to detail.”

See the project
Visit the site


Staying among the waves for our next example, we created a series of illustrations and a powerful animation for marine conservationist Jeroen van de Waal.

Jeroen is the founder of Orca Scuba, a diving school in Singapore, whose responsibilities extend beyond diving expeditions to educating the next generation about the consequences of our actions on the Earth’s oceans and eco-systems.

To promote positive change, Jeroen wrote Together We Can Turn Tides – A manifesto to change the oceans, planet and ourselves, which was published as a manifesto for change to save the planet’s oceans, and subsequently ourselves. To accompany the messages, Drive produced a series of clear, strongly-themed, graphic illustrations to represent the chapters within the manifesto.

To promote the book and increase awareness further, Drive produced an animation to further explain the core themes contained within Together We Can Turn Tides – such as ocean pollution, marine habitat destruction, mammal eradication and creating positive footprints.

Shared via social media by the Marine Conservation Society and Greenpeace, and in the running for film festival awards, this an example of thought-provoking, powerful, shareable content.

See the illustrations
See the animation


From the top of Dartmoor: super-sustainable, British-made twool products are created from the wool of the rare breed, the Whiteface Dartmoor sheep. Versatile twool yarn is the eco-friendly British alternative to imported jute, which has been used to produce everything from gardener’s twine to shopping bags and dog leads.

Drive and twool enjoy a long-standing relationship, with our involvement including website design and build (including an e-commerce site), digital assets and packaging design, right through to ground-up product development. For Drive, print and packaging projects with twool generate the added consideration of sustainability and environmental awareness throughout our design methodology, selecting materials and printing methods that all adhere to the brand ethos. For twool’s ‘Prop It n’ Crop It’ product (combining heritage seeds and twool twine), Drive evolved plastic packaging with staples into a small single piece of recyclable card that held the products in place with some clever cardboard engineering.

Vogue product photography

Twool are keen to show that sustainability is an important concern for all, and that it can be fashionable and stylish to boot. Its woolly shoppers have been featured in Vogue magazine, and are available in high street heavyweights like John Lewis and Waitress. Meanwhile, their garden twine has been runner-up Product of the Year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

See the packaging
See the website


From charities and environmental crusaders, to sustainable producers and even Heritage Lottery-funded multi-sensory educational experiences like One Hut Full, Drive love watching the success of things we’ve played a part in making happen.

Born from a community’s passion for farming a rare breed of sheep and witnessing the decline of hill farming on the moors, One Hut Full is a touring, high-tech experience inside a traditional shepherd’s hut – taking visitors on a journey through the past, present and future of hill farming on Dartmoor.

Drive developed the campaign brand, messaging, proposition, and visual identity of the project, as well as the exterior hut design, an image-based responsive website, social media skins and promotional materials.

Now entering phase two, Drive is supporting One Hut Full’s ‘Make #OneChange’ campaign as the enterprise aims to become a community interest company. At the same time, it is continuing to educate and inspire other change-makers, as well as enlighten the general public, in One Hut Full’s ongoing mission to inspire change in the cycle that connects our environment and how we manage our land, through to our products and our buying behaviour.

See the branding and promotion


Leaderbox is an innovative leadership training system, founded by ex-Royal Marine and expedition leader Monty Halls and created to address a recognised gap in the leadership skills taught in the school curriculum. Leaderbox was formed with a belief in the life-skills, personal potential and confidence it can bring, and that any training should reflect the values and ethos of that particular organisation.

Rolling out across schools, Leaderbox has also begun to expand into corporate and professional sectors as Leaderbox PRO. The exercises created from Monty’s personal experience, as well as their vision for a better future through better education, make Leaderbox a true grassroots, ground-up innovator.

Drive were brought on board early, being consulted on the online business model and the product – including leading workshops involving product designers, graphic designers and project leaders. Drive also evolved the brand identity and sub-branding, and produced the Leaderbox website, promotional materials and templates for exercise booklets, scenario manuals and worksheets.


Every year Rowcroft helps over 2,000 people who are living with life-limiting illnesses. As an independent charity, the vast majority of Rowcroft’s activity is funded by the generosity of donors. To this end, they’re incredibly active fundraisers, with various campaigns running year-on-year. For many years, Drive has been working with Rowcroft on the identity and promotional material for these campaigns.

An almost unbelievable 89% of the UK population did something charitable last year, so public involvement in campaigns and events is a really inclusive way to see donations rise.(4)

Drive has worked with Rowcroft to promote and evolve one such re-occurring event: their annual Sleep Walk, a charity night walk for ladies. Over the years, the event’s mascot, Barbara the sheep, has undergone many makeovers, as the event takes on a different theme each year. Drive have developed the mascot and produced collateral that ranges from the Sleep Walk website, social media content, press adverts, posters, Adshels, 48 sheets, banners and sponsorship forms, to fund-raising booklets, route maps, t-shirts and more. Now, the event has more sign-ups than there are places, and has seen year-on-year increases in fundraising totals.

Colour Rush Campaign Branding

Another charity event that Drive worked with Rowcroft on was the Colour Road Rush – a one-off special 3k paint run event, inviting participants to play a part in South Devon’s history by making their mark on a brand new stretch of carriageway.

The sell-out event branding was applied throughout promotional literature that included posters, flyers, leaflets, registration forms and electronic fundraising packs.

See the Sleep Walk campaigns
See the Colour Road Rush campaign


Through truly understanding the needs of a business or individual, as well as the customer, Drive has watched their change-maker clients have great success.

From website design, campaign promotions, e-commerce, brand identity and social media content creation, our experience, attention to detail, sector knowledge, and logical, thought-led approach to effective design means that we are truly carving a place as the go-to agency for helping change-makers to make change happen.

Our experience of working with passionate, inspired and sympathetic people is still growing. We’ve recently completed a top-secret project for a cutting-edge eco-technology company whose aim is to reduce the amount of plastic bottles used globally by producing water from thin air… No, really…

Are you a change-maker or a charity trying to make a difference? Get in touch today.

2. Source:
3. Ibid.

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