The Black Dog Institute logo embodies our mission to empower everyone to live the most mentally healthy life possible.
- Concept by John Bevins Pty Limited
- Original design by Cato Purnell Partners Pty Limited
- Redesign by Toast Creative, 2015
The Black Dog
'Black dog' was the term Winston Churchill used to describe his own depression. The logo of the Black Dog Institute refers to and respects that origin.
A victory sign that casts the shadow of a black dog provides a metaphor for a disorder that is constantly lurking in the background. It acknowledges that depression can indeed 'shadow' the sufferer, even when their mood is upbeat and 'victorious'. However, the logo ultimately carries the suggestion that the positive is more powerful than the negative.
The message of hope is implicit to avoid any alienating ‘pull yourself out of it’ suggestions. The concept walks the essential fine line by neither trivialising the black dog nor turning it into a monster. And it avoids the obvious dog clichés.
For those aware of Churchill's famous salute, it provides a talking point. It's a way to begin de-stigmatising a mental illness that many people experience. For a younger audience who may not be aware of the history, it works as a stand-alone symbol that is intriguing and memorable.
Our logo reflects us as a unique scientific institute committed to directly addressing what the World Health Organisation has called the world's biggest health problem.
History of the logo
In late 2002, the Black Dog Institute logo and concept won the Mobius Statuette in Image Building, Corporate Identity and Branding (Chicago, USA), a prestigious advertising award. It was also a finalist in the AWARD (Australian Writers and Art Directors) Awards for Graphic Design and Packaging, Editorial Design Corporate and Brand Identity - Small Identity and Application.
In 2015, the Black Dog Institute logo was refreshed to integrate vectors and web fonts to improve accessibility on all devices. The refreshed colours preserve the historic backstory of the logo's origin whilst offering an even brighter future with the opportunity for everyone to live their most mentally healthy lives.