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Canterbury District Health Board

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Canterbury District Health Board: Branding of the Child Health Facilities 



The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) wanted to create an identity for the Child Health Facilities within their busy city centre hospital.  Children of all ages, with their families, use facilities across three floors in a building that is not exclusively for children.

The challenge was to create a brand that was as much attractive and distracting to a baby as it was cool and inspiring to a teenager.  It couldn’t date or be attached to popular culture.  The designs needed to work with the wall spaces and areas where the brand would feature.  And most importantly the brand needed to evoke a sense of safety and well being, to be friendly and peaceful.


First of all we researched into what had worked in other children’s hospitals all over the world from Melbourne to London and in between. We also led a workshop with hospital staff ranging from administrators to consultants, as well as parents and even children, who had their own special focus group.  By involving such a wide range of people connected to the services we heard from all perspectives, which actually resulted in a very unified brief for our illustrator.  Above all, the brand had to distract children, lift them out of their situation and feed their imagination with positive things.

Dominant themes coming out of the focus groups were water, earth, sky and animals.  We knew we wouldn’t need to look too far to find inspiration and our team was able to create 50 illustrations all taken from life in Canterbury.

Each level of the building was assigned a theme starting with Waterline, then Treeline and finally on the top floor, Skyline.  Each of these themes had a specific colour palette and illustrations that resonated, such as plants at Waterline and mountain peaks at Skyline.  Now as people make their way through the hospital they will be reassured by the familiar images that have given an identity to the Child Health Facilities.


One of the highlights of this project was seeing how our illustrations have a very tangible impact on hundreds of people going through the hospital everyday.  Our in-house illustrator is essentially an artist, so what you find when you walk into the Child Health Facilities building is an art exhibition, placed there to feed the soul when the body is hurting.

There is still more we can do to further engage with children using the services, including creating an app that will bring the illustrations to life, using augmented reality technology.

Does your space need branding?  We’d love to bring your walls to life, call us.

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