A rebrand to help transform humanitarian action


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Start Network


Start Network is an independent charity which originally formed within Save the Children. To launch this new chapter of independence, Start Network wanted a complete rebrand. One that would allow them to take their place as global leaders within the aid sector.



Start Network was born in 2010. Sparked from informal conversations between humanitarian leaders from aid agencies who were frustrated by the challenges they faced. Originally incubated by Save the Children, this year Start Network has officially become an independent charity. The independence presented the charity with a unique opportunity to reposition itself as an innovating force in the international development sector. They do this by experimenting with new systems, working at pace and challenging the status quo.


The new brand idea is ‘Positive Disruption’, positioning Start Network as a challenger charity that avoids the usual sector tropes. We brought this to life with a highly contrasting colour palette and a disruptive graphic treatment that signalled a new era of humanitarian aid. Our initial research into the old brand focussed on elements we could retain to form a link between new and old. The arrow and network icons were redrawn and incorporated into parts of the wordmark to represent the idea of ‘Positive Disruption’, and they also become a vital part of the wider graphic language. Blowing up and layering the two elements with text, image and photo treatments created a shifting, dynamic identity that highlighted the depth of the network.


The new brand brings a sense of positivity and modernity, with the option of adding urgency or formality when required.

The team at Nice and Serious have done an amazing job to turn our cold and serious brand into something more engaging, vibrant and inspiring, in other words nicer. We were so impressed by the way the team took a complicated brief and delivered a brand that will help us to engage more people around the world, which is fundamental in helping us to achieve our aims of changing the global humanitarian sector.

Helen James, Head of Communications & Digital, The Start Network