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Leithal Thinking Brand & Marketing Consultancy

We believe that life is for living

  • Thistle Foundation

We believe that life is for living

We were appointed in 2009 to help the Thistle Foundation to rebrand and raise their profile. Founded in 1944, originally to work with injured servicemen, Thistle had been slightly forgotten and many people didn’t realize what they did, how they had changed to now offer pioneering services to enable people to live empowered lives.

Identity projects often require strategic phases before going anywhere near the drawing board. There’s a reason why this is so important, think about it – you’re a charity providing invaluable services but you’re at a critical stage in your life, you have to tender for every piece of funding and more importantly to provide the very services that people are often wholly dependent on if they wish to lead a life like anyone else. Now’s the time to think about checking your strategy, to be clear about where you are and what you stand for, and ask yourselves some fairly fundamental and honest questions about whether what you do is fit for the future needs of those who depend on you.

And from our own perspective, how could we possibly understand what to create without fully understanding who they were and what they did.

We believe that life is for living

The new identity was chosen by the people who are directly helped by the Foundation. A graphic interpretation of a thistle.

This is exactly how we went about working with our friends at the Thistle Foundation, a boundary-pushing, pioneering charity supporting people with disabilities and long term health conditions. Include a level of research with a very intuitive and quite rightly passionate and vocal audience, like Bob and you can understand why creating an identity can often be a tough but ultimately very rewarding task.

We spent a long time developing an identity that people would be proud of, crafting a logo that wouldn’t just sit in the corner of the page and developing a visual and verbal language that would allow the communication of ideas in a way that would have dramatic effect on the organization, the lives they touch and the organizations they partner with.

We believe that life is for living

An example of how the identity is interpreted onto information graphics and communications.

We believe that life is for living

The flexibility and strength of the identity is revealed by the way it is used.

We think our solution is both memorable and creates stand out – a simple graphic thistle created out of the name. It’s also a device that emphasises who they and it’s a simple yet powerful signature. But as with any brand, it’s the language we developed and the other visual elements that bring the whole identity to life.

And this is where all the strategy comes in. Everything we created is built from the powerful message that ‘We believe that life is for living.’ This acts as platform from which to build all messaging, not a brand onion in sight, instead a powerful manifesto which you can read here::

Imagery now celebrates those whose lives have been touched by Thistle and the graphic thistle is being used to create memorable visualisation of statistical information as well as informative signage.

Sometimes change can be uncomfortable; we waited nervously whilst Bob typed away, but when his lightwriter declared ‘It’s brilliant’ we knew we had done our job properly and created something to be proud of.

We believe that life is for living

Photography focused on the positive effects of the foundation's actions., bringing to life the proposition 'we believe that life is for living'.


  • Research workshops
  • Brand identity
  • Brand guidelines
  • Brand communications
  • Brand architecture
  • Internal communications