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Celebrating neurodiversity

24th August, 2016

Over the last few months we’ve been working with the BBC to develop the visual identity for project CAPE (Creative a Positive Environment) – a brand new diversity initiative that aims to raise awareness of the positive role neurodiversity can have in the workplace. As part of this, we were delighted to be invited along to the BBC’s recent Connecting The Dots event at New Broadcasting House, London. This was the first public presentation of the project and it was fantastic to see our work up in lights for the first time at the event.

Originally coined by a scientist in the 1980s, neurodiversity refers to the range of neurological differences experienced by people with ‘conditions’ such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Shockingly, only 15% of working age people with neurodiverse conditions are currently employed. This fact has driven the BBC to seek change. They want to promote the idea that people with neurodiverse conditions have unique talents and skills that are not currently being harnessed affectively in the workplace. For example, job application forms and interviews can act as barriers, making the process of gaining employment extremely difficult for people who find this kind of interaction overwhelming and stressful.  

The BBC CAPE team would like employers to consider utilising alternative methods for assessing an individual’s employability; where candidates who think differently to ‘neurotypical’ people are able to showcase their skills in an applied manner rather than through means of communication unsuitable for them. By doing this, employers will benefit massively from the pool of unlocked neurodiverse talent. Sounds great to us!

In the lead up to the Connecting The Dots event, we helped produce a visual identity for the activity in 2016 and beyond. It was essential that the visual identity had the capacity to evolve and adapt over time as the project develops.

To achieve this, we created a brand toolkit to act as the building blocks for a variety of different activities and platforms across which the CAPE brand would need to be implemented.

Building on the central concept that everyone thinks differently, the CAPE project provided us with a unique creative opportunity to explore the different ways in which people interpret design elements such as colours, imagery and patterns. For example, people on the autistic spectrum can find complex patterns unpleasant and distracting. Taking this into account, we opted for a simple logo design and a calming yet striking colour palette. The aim was to create something bold, impactful and accessible for all. 

The brand toolkit was implemented across a number of different outlets including posters, digital screens and leaflets, all of which were piloted at the Connecting the Dots event. The BBC team were really pleased and we had great feedback from the event’s attendees.

It was great to see our work act as the backdrop for such a fantastic array of neurodiverse acts. From street dancer Nitro to Amber Lee Dodd’s moving reading of her new book ‘We Are Giants,’ each act had something special to offer.

So far, the CAPE team have had great success promoting their message within the BBC through a series of projects including the development of interactive training films and a 360-degree VR experience. As a result, earlier this year the BBC became the first ever broadcaster to secure the Autism Access Award – such an incredible achievement.

With all this under their belts, keep an eye out for more from the project CAPE team; they have lots more exciting projects in the pipeline!

If you’d like to find out more about the BBC’s work in neurodiversity, head to their diversity page: