There’s an Australian organisation with a kick-ass mission, a go-getter CEO, and a natural love of the bold and unconventional. The problem is that few people know it exists.
Global Sisters exists to enable women to be financially independent. It provides a genuine alternative for women who are not able to participate in mainstream employment by making self-employment a viable option. The not-for-profit organisation providing some of society’s most vulnerable women with business coaches, business advice and an e-commerce platform to turn their germs of business ideas into thriving enterprises.
“There are 22% of Australians living below the WHO poverty line, a fact that surprises a lot of people. Many of them are refugees who struggle with English which makes autonomy difficult. When you get the women in this group firing financially, whole communities are transformed forever. It’s these women Global Sisters aims to help,” stated Caroline McLaughlin, DDI managing director.
Global Sisters needed to make itself known to the world. So it brought Sydney creative agency, DDI, on board.
The agency’s work began with the logo. DDI’s challenge was to create a brand that speaks to Global Sister’s inspiring cause but is also something that looks at home on jewellery, packaging and a slick e-commerce platform. So DDI fused a hand-drawn element with a clean typeface.
“We knew we had one shot to reflect the same drive and boldness of the Global Sisters concept in our branding,” explained DDI creative director, Chris D’Arbon. “This brand is the antithesis of a charity.”
There’s an inherent disconnect between empowering women to become independent businesswomen, and being a charity. It could have become the elephant in the room and muddied the organisation’s persona. So DDI rejected the conventional wisdom of the charity category.
“From the get go we said we were in the business of building businesses,” stated McLaughlin. “These women rock. Our job was to create a brand for them befitting of their amazing skillsets.”
The new design reflects the hand-made products created by the Sisters as well as the boutique and accessible luxe feel of the online retail platform. It also overcomes language barriers with the globally recognised symbol for women replacing the O of Global and the T of Sisters.
“Next, we needed to reflect the rich stories of our Sisters, which is where the raw portraiture, organic textures and cultural patterns came in,” d’Arbon added.
The brand elements were then spread across collateral, the website and social.
The results have been outstanding. Global Sisters has smashed all of its year 1 objectives, setting the ripple effect in action. Its aim was to be supporting 40 active businesses and it is already supporting more than 50, with 135 now actively engaged in the education programme.
Mandy Richards, founder & chief executive officer of Global Sisters commented, “DDI has been amazing and lovely from our first interaction. I would walk away from our first few meetings terrified and exhilarated at the possibilities they were creating for us, but I have always trusted their judgement and interpretation of my goals, and never been disappointed. They are also a genuinely lovely group of people who are fun and fabulous to spend time with.”
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing women who have faced the most terrible circumstances life can throw at them regaining that glint in their eyes. It just makes you want in,” McLaughlin added.
DDI’s work has been applauded by The Good Design Awards in the Social Innovation category. Global Sisters will officially be the award-winner on June 8.
Chris d’Arbon: Creative Director
Designer: Jenny Liu
Bernd Winter: Executive Creative Director & Founder
Caroline McLaughlin: Managing Director
Agency Partners: Jason Riddell Retouching