Designing a Breast Cancer Support Network!

Designing a Breast Cancer Support Network!

Exploring the compassion-driven branding journey and community empowerment led by The House of Two.

Shell Win, a breast cancer foundation rooted in Agra, India, was established by a family in cherished memory of their daughter, Shelly. With a heartfelt mission to elevate awareness and extend crucial support for early detection, prevention, and care, Shell Win sought to broaden its impact nationwide. In collaboration with The House of Two, they embarked on a digital-first, social media-focused branding initiative, aimed at forging connections with potential members, particularly urban individuals aged 24-45.

Driven by a personal commitment to make a difference, the team of the house of two has meticulously crafted the brand to serve as a beacon of support and community for families affected by breast cancer. The design ethos emphasises inclusivity, nurturing conversations that are both compassionate and courageous, insightful yet lighthearted. Through its distinctive approach, Shell Win has emerged as a unique cancer support community in India, garnering recognition on a global scale for its impactful work.

In this case study, you will gain insights into the strategic branding process undertaken by The House of Two to develop the identity of Shell Win. The importance of compassion-driven design in fostering meaningful connections and building a supportive community, especially in sensitive contexts such as breast cancer awareness and support, will be discussed.

Industry: Health & Wellbeing
Requirements: Brand Strategy, Brand Identity, Service Design, Digital Communication, Illustration, Be-spoke Type and Social Media Management

Empowering Through Understanding

Breast cancer ranks as the most prevalent cancer among women in India, posing significant challenges due to late-stage diagnoses and a rising incidence in younger age groups, some as young as 25. The lack of awareness and inadequate support systems exacerbate the trauma experienced by patients and their families. The multitude of medical options and conflicting information further compound the confusion, regardless of socio-economic status. Misinformation, social stigmas, emotional turmoil, and psychological hurdles create a daunting journey before, during, and after treatment.

The understanding of the brand's essence stems from the experiences of those impacted by breast cancer, who seek a safe haven where they can simply exist. They yearn to be heard when they choose to speak, engage when they feel ready, and embrace every opportunity for a semblance of normalcy.

Empowering Through Community Support

Extensive research has shown that breast cancer patients benefit greatly from having a strong support network. This network often includes individuals who have gone through similar experiences and can offer valuable advice. After talking with many affected families, it became clear that the journey from diagnosis to remission takes a toll that goes beyond the physical burden of the disease. This realization led the team to reorient the brand proposition. Rather than just providing medical and financial aid, they aimed to create a nurturing sanctuary for affected families. A place where they could come together and find support from people who intimately understand their struggles.

This newfound direction seamlessly aligned with the core ethos of the foundation, echoing Shelly's unwavering resilience and courageous spirit throughout her arduous battle with cancer. Her indomitable journey served as a guiding light, inspiring us to infuse the brand with a spirit of triumph and resilience.

The Art of Branding

As we reach the end of our creative journey, we are excited to reveal the name that we believe perfectly encapsulates our vision - "Shell Win". We aimed to create a brand name that conveys a sense of victory in every interaction, through a conversational identity that inspires and uplifts. The phonetic harmony of "Shell" and "Win" serves as a powerful narrative tool, infusing each conversation with an undeniable sense of positivity and encouragement.

We chose a serif font for the logo, which is a timeless choice that makes it easy to tell stories. The intricate ink trap detailing on the font adds to its appeal and creates a welcoming atmosphere for open and safe conversations. This font is adaptable to all communication channels, and it instills a sense of comfort and reliability, setting the tone for the brand's communication templates.

The Type Selection

The primary typeface is the logotype family and is the critical communication device. The san serif secondary font compliments titles, sub headers and serves as a supporting device.

A Font for Acceptance

"They embarked on creating a unique font to promote a new type of acceptance that normalises the changes associated with breast cancer. The font's design features rounded and wholesome characteristics, embodying qualities of softness, care, and acceptance. It welcomes both visible and invisible scars with each alphabet serving as a testament to the notion of self-love. The font encourages individuals to embrace themselves unconditionally, regardless of societal norms or expectations."

A custom font was designed to serve a purpose beyond just being a tool for typography - it is a visual manifestation of the message it represents. Every letter in the font has been thoughtfully created to not just convey words, but also stir powerful emotions and insights. When used to highlight messages, the font infuses them with a feeling of pure joy, giving more meaning and depth to every communication.

Redefining Breast Cancer Colours

In reimagining the palette for Shell Win, the aim is to infuse the community with positivity, energy, and joy. Drawing inspiration from the hue of the breast cancer ribbon, the primary colours exude a sense of empowerment and solidarity. Complementing this foundation, the secondary colours add vibrancy and cheerfulness, while still maintaining the familiarity of pink. Together, these hues not only symbolise hope but also facilitate the brand in initiating and navigating difficult conversations with grace and compassion.

Shattering Taboos Through Subtle Illustrations

Illustrations within Shell Win's branding serve a crucial purpose: normalizing discussions about breast health in everyday conversations. Each illustration cleverly incorporates elements related to breasts, subtly addressing a topic often shrouded in shame and taboo. By infusing lighthearted wit, these visuals aim to make difficult conversations more approachable and commonplace in Indian society.

Strategically selected to complement messaging, these illustrations add a touch of joy to potentially serious discussions. Following a standard template with right-aligned placement, they consistently reinforce the brand's mission of fostering open dialogue and removing stigma surrounding breast health.

The Kindness of Shapes

In the branding of Shell Win, distinct shapes play a pivotal role in embodying core brand values such as conversation, caring, sharing, togetherness, choice, and support. Each shape is meticulously crafted to serve as a canvas for conveying these emotions rooted in human kindness.

Dynamic and varied, these shapes offer flexibility, ensuring that communication templates remain both identifiable and refreshing. Through the thoughtful integration of shapes, Shell Win shapes conversations with a touch of kindness and empathy.

Nurturing a Supportive Community

In the development of Shell Win, the focus has always been on catering to the needs of affected families, understanding their challenges, and providing comprehensive support throughout their journey with breast cancer. Recognising the importance of community-building, Shell Win sought to evolve and adapt to address the various issues faced by individuals dealing with the disease, from diagnosis to post-treatment care.

Initially, Shell Win primarily offered medical and financial aid to families affected by breast cancer, organising educational seminars centered around cancer treatment and financial management. However, these activities lacked meaningful audience engagement and participation.

To revitalise the existing initiatives and align them with the brand's values of caring and support, Shell Win enlisted the expertise of palliative care and alternative pain management professionals. Additionally, they brought in women who had firsthand experience with cancer, either as patients or caretakers, to lead discussions and provide valuable insights into the emotional and psychological aspects of dealing with the disease.

The introduction of these inspiring individuals not only fostered more meaningful conversations but also sparked new ideas for expanding Shell Win's impact. Based on their suggestions, Shell Win introduced a variety of online and offline activities, including games, arts, and crafts, to create opportunities for members to connect, share experiences, and find solace beyond the realm of treatment.

Furthermore, Shell Win empowered its community by allowing them to take ownership of the monthly activities and sessions. Through online polls and discussions on platforms like WhatsApp, members were invited to contribute their ideas and preferences, enabling them to actively shape the direction of the community and lead sessions on topics of interest such as baking, art, and reiki.

Empowering Through Compassionate Outreach

Shell Win has emerged as a beacon of support and compassion for individuals and families affected by breast cancer in India. Through meaningful communication, engaging activities, and a heartfelt sense of purpose, Shell Win has cultivated a unique support community where members feel safe to share their experiences, fears, and hopes.

The community has experienced significant growth, now comprising over 300 experts, warriors, and survivors who generously volunteer their time and expertise to meet the diverse needs of those seeking support. In particular, efforts have been focused on rural outreach in Uttar Pradesh, with Agra serving as a central hub for educational and awareness initiatives.

One of the key initiatives undertaken by Shell Win is the provision of free mammography services, benefitting over 500 women in the region. By expanding its outreach both online and offline, Shell Win aims to empower individuals by promoting early detection and raising awareness about breast cancer.

Creative Gaga