• Transform magazine
  • May 26, 2024


Rethinking mental health: International PsychosocialOrganisation.

Startling Brands Ipso Branding Visual Identity 9 Web

The International PsychosocialOrganisation (Ipso), a humanitarian non-profit organisation based in Germany and Afghanistan specialising in mental health, partnered with Berlin-based branding agency Startling Brands to deliver a full-scale rebranding solution that enables Ipso to expand its reach.


As the organization operates in both Germany and Afghanistan, Ipso needed a rebranding strategy comprising visual identity solutions that respected the connotation and complexity of cultural differences both in and outside the organization. Having vast network of offices, the organisation’s visual identity also needed to be simple and flexible enough to give its staff members the necessary tools to create their desired brand applications independently.

The two half-circles making up the letter ‘S’ in Ipso were created from a smiley symbol, which became an essential, gender-neutral, and culturally neutral visual element for the brand. It represents the organisation’s brand promise, ‘Everyone deserves a meaningful life’ using the most human, universally understood expression of joy and contentment. It became a useful storytelling device, bridging the gap between imagery and text while elevating the messaging with warm and positive feelings.

The blend of playfulness and formality in the rebrand also helps strengthen Ipso’s credibility within a rather formal German institutional funding network, enabling the organisation to extend its reach and promote mental healthcare access to everyone.