Winners 2013/Brand Identity Bronze

Project: Census 2011

Client: Office for National Statistics

Design: Elmwood

Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported low response rates in the ‘difficult to count’ groups and an overall lack of public engagement with the 2001 UK Census. As a result they tasked Elmwood with creating a brand definition, a visual and verbal identity and full brand guidelines for the 2011 Census.

At the heart of Elmwood’s response was an origami theme with the strapline ‘help tomorrow take shape’, designed to encourage people to do their bit by taking part. Elmwood introduced a purple colour scheme to ensure all communications looked official but not political, and for the first time the Census forms themselves were purple rather than blue.

The campaign and form rebrand created a desire to participate, with an overall response rate of 94% and a 15% increase in participants from the hardest to count group. Focus groups said: ‘It’s stylish and easy to understand’, and acknowledged that, ‘it’s saying what can be gained from filling in the form’.