Case Study: CDART’s Visual Identity
CDART is the Canadian Disaster Response Team. In other words, they take care of any household animals during a household or natural disaster. They also praise their nation-wide education for their volunteers on Emergency Pet Services and cooperation between various organizations in the industry such as, animal protection and disaster relief agencies.
Their visual identity should therefore communicate trust, safety and empathy towards animals.
Upon entering CDART’s website, the colour red takes over and is carried out throughout their various social platforms. The colour red is however used in various tones, making it very hard to know where to focus our attention. Red can be associated with many feelings and the one that comes out from CDART’s use of it is danger. This is not good as they are trying to showcase safety during these situations.
The white background is a simple colour choice to increase legibility of their copy. The same can be said about their black text. However, many shades of grey seem to be used throughout their visuals, section titles, etc. Their does not seem to be much consistency.
The shapes and images in CDART’s website are inconsistent. We had rounded & square items. Some even have borders and drop shadows. Some images are also superimposed with a cut out background. This makes it very hard to see the hierarchy of the information being thrown at us as everything is in a different context.
The website is filled with a lot of information — too much information.
There is not enough space to let the user breath and take it all in.
Even the logo is packed with as much information as possible.
It feels like a very stressful environment.
There is little movement in their visual identity. We should be feeling a sense of comfort and safety that our beloved animals are now in good hands with CDART. Movement should be soft and welcoming. However, some web pages can be scrolled down for way too long. This creates discomfort and stress arises and we see how much information their is to read.
CDART’s logo makes sense at first glance; it incorporates a paw, as it rescues animals, and the Canadian flag, as they are a Canadian organization who helps the Canadian community.
However, seeing it placed on different areas throughout their website and social media outlets, we lose the purpose of the organization’s identity through this logo. The red of the Canadian flag gets confused with the red of disaster and fire incidents and makes it seems sad & stressful instead of up lifting and safe. Too much is trying to be communicated in one logo. It needs to be simplified.
The arch of the CDART text also doesn’t resonate with any other rounded items in its website. It therefore doesn’t connect with the rest of their brand identity and may not serve any purpose.
The imagery used in CDART’s brand identity is cat dominated. Why?
Cats should not be the only animals showcased by such an organization. Imagery should showcase the diversity of the animals being rescued.
Imagery should also be consistent in terms of shape and effects added to them. Different sizes should be determined to create a sense of hierarchy.
The use of fire or dramatic images should also be avoided if the goal is to attract volunteers.
CDART have a great vision and have a great potential to help animals and their loved ones across Canada yet they need to revisit their brand identity to make sure they are portraying the right message to potential volunteers and partner organizations. This will help them get as many people on board as possible and create an expansive community Canada-wide working towards a common goal.