The Francis Crick Institute

We have been working with the Crick for over 7 years on various projects. These range from promoting their activities through large format graphics and branding some of their interior spaces to literature promoting the man himself, Francis Crick, the inspiration behind their name. We were recently approached by them to revisit their brand guidelines and core messaging, which hadn’t changed since The Francis Crick Institute first opened its doors in November 2016.


The first part of this process involved us running a number of workshops with key stakeholders of the Crick to help establish the organisation’s story, what it represents, its values, core activities, personality and target audiences. Our workshops are very much an interactive process requiring audience participation and response sheets where we can gather the information that demonstrates the strength and variety of opinions on a number of topics. This workshop involved questions relating to how the Crick perceives itself, where they are now and where they would like to be in the future.

With exercises such as this, we work closely with a creative copywriter to ensure that we ask the right questions in order to establish a clear narrative. The writer on this project was Rupert Bradshaw, now a key member of our workshop team, with whom we have worked on a number of branding and messaging exercises.


After the workshop, the information is collated in a report, recording and highlighting all the key learnings. Taking into account the various opinions, and through appraisal of this information, we arrive at a singular set of unified messages and values for collective buy-in. No work can start on any brand evolution, or on the brand guidelines, until these have been established and approved. They form the foundation of all the guiding principles of the organisation, which then need to be reflected in the brand and its guidelines.


The Crick was keen that the guidelines were as simple and user-friendly as possible, even though they needed to convey a lot of information to separate teams and audiences across different subject matter. We proposed screen formatted, interactive guidelines that enables the user to get to key information as quickly and efficiently as possible, without having to scroll through the entire document. We created a simple, primary, entry-level menu that separated key topics related to brand, messaging, tone of voice and assets. From this, the user could then drill down further, through a secondary level menu, to get to more specific information.


An important element of the guidelines required us to create a series of assets for the Crick that they could use via social media to help promote their activities and latest news. We created a number of Twitter templates that were either image-rich, fact-based, text-heavy or quote based that the client could use to enter the content.

To support this, and other pieces of digital and print-based materials, we created the below suite of bespoke icons that related to specific topics that cover all the Crick’s activities.



“It’s been great working with the team at tothepoint on our brand development project. They’ve been responsive, creative and committed throughout. It’s been a very practical project and we know that the changes will make a big difference to the application of our brand” Jo Rynhold, Marketing consultant – Public Engagement and Comms