A Legacy of Transformative Support

Positioning Umbrella Society for Continued Success

We firmly believe that good design and effective marketing are, at their heart, about stories: solving a problem, meeting a challenge, inventing a new way of doing things. In this series, we’re looking back at some memorable projects for great clients and, in doing so, telling our own story. 

In this piece, we reflect on our long-standing relationship with Umbrella Society, an important non-profit organization that, for over twenty years, has helped those struggling with addiction access support and reach recovery.

Reaching Out to Those in Need

Umbrella Society was founded in 2000, when the founder sought to connect people in need with peer support. Since then, the organization has grown tremendously. Today, Umbrella Society operates four recovery houses and provides recovery programs, family counselling, outreach, and peer support groups. Their work has positively impacted thousands of lives across Victoria and beyond, and despite challenges such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they have remained an unwavering source of support for those who need it most.

A Trusted Relationship

Over the years, Umbrella Society has turned to Leap for a variety of design and marketing projects, from their website design, to fundraisers and marketing campaigns, to print materials. “Leap has played an important role in everything we’ve done,” Sharlene, the organization’s Executive Director, explains.  “We know we don’t have to come up with the big ideas ourselves because Neil and the whole Leap team understand us, and our history and values, to the extent that they know what we need to do. They know just what will suit us.”

Sharlene cites the website design as a great example of our ability to understand Umbrella Society’s needs. “Because we’re a non-profit, we work with people at a pretty dark time in their lives. We didn’t want something flashy,” she says. Leap listened, designing a site that’s down-to-earth, reassuringly friendly, and approachable with an information architecture that allows users to access the right information quickly, whether that’s learning about the programs, reading about the team, or getting in touch with an outreach worker. 

Celebrating Milestones and Refreshing the Brand

In 2020, Umbrella Society reached an important milestone: their 20th anniversary. To celebrate the organization’s history and achievements in the community, Leap designed a specialty logo for them. “We wanted to do something special for our 20th and had all kinds of events planned,” Sharlene says, “but then COVID hit. None of the celebratory stuff happened, but we did make use of the logo because we loved it.”

Rather than return to the old logo after the 20th anniversary, Umbrella Society asked us for a refreshed, re-envisioned logo, one that would better reflect where the organization is now and where it’s headed. Neil, Creative & Web Director at Leap, explains: “Whenever a client takes the opportunity to refresh or rethink design elements of their brand, they’re given a new set of tools to reintroduce themselves to clients, reconnect with the community, and celebrate their success.” 

For Umbrella Society, we wanted to create a mark that represents the current team and the organization’s direction. The new logo is digital friendly, working on a variety of applications, and depicts an upright orange umbrella resting on two L’s, which communicates inclusivity and togetherness. 

Finally, we gave the organization a new tagline: Reaching Recovery Together. This tagline speaks to their approach and values. “We want people to understand that recovery is a realistic option for those in addiction,” Sharlene says, “and Umbrella can help.” The new tagline communicates just that.

Looking to the Future

As for their long-term goal? Sharlene explains that in a perfect world, the organization would cease to exist. “We’d love it if, in the next twenty years, addiction wasn’t even an issue,” she says. “However, with COVID, the demand has only gotten worse. The desperation is higher, the need is growing every day.” With that reality in mind, she and the team are facing the future with determination and clear-eyed optimism. They plan to expand their housing program and services and to keep reaching those most in need.

We’re incredibly proud of our relationship with Umbrella Society and look forward to supporting their life-changing work as the organization looks to the next twenty years.

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