A year of learning – branding co-design

Project UpdatesThe First Year
Last updated on January 15, 2019

Our Connected Neighbourhoods has been running for more than 12 months now. It has been a year of organising, doing and – most importantly – learning.

This series of blog posts looks at the first year, what we have learned along the way and where we are heading. Here we find out the co-design of OCN’s branding and accessible print toolkit.


One of the first challenges for Our Connected Neighbourhoods (OCN) was to develop branding that properly reflected our core aims –including a final name for the project. Working with Ross Dolan, a graphic designer based within the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, we set to work with people living with dementia to co-design the OCN brand.

The co-design process

The branding project ran over five months and involved people living with dementia and carers attending a general discussion, followed by two focus groups. Working together they came up with our new project name ‘Our Connected Neighbourhoods’ as well as designing our project logo and letterhead. This piece of work also led to the development of a design toolkit to showcase best practice for dementia accessible print materials.

Graphic designer Ross Dolan and participants co-design branding for the Our Connected Neighbourhoods project.

What we learned

Ross, our graphic design consultant, describes his learning about the benefit of this work to people living with dementia as follows:

by making digital and printed media dementia inclusive it can encourage independence within the community.

Branding and print material can appear a dry and administrative topic but getting it right for people living with dementia can have a significant and important impact, enabling people to benefit from opportunities to remain connected with their communities. It has also allowed us to involve people living with dementia in our work from the earliest possible moment; underscoring the key values of Our Connected Neighbourhoods.

What next

Once published, this toolkit will be available through our website and can be used to check the accessibility of print materials intended for people living with dementia. We also plan to work with our partners to further test the usability of the toolkit.