Dayton Children’s Hospital Rebranding

lives and brands

How to rebrand a hospital

Dayton Children’s Hospital was long seen as the area’s compassionate caregiver—but the community wasn’t seeing beyond that heritage to the hospital’s growing stature as a nationally-recognized center of pediatric excellence. A strategic collaboration with the client, followed by an inspired Graphica design, helped change all that in a remarkable rebrand.

The challenge:

Dayton Children’s was investing heavily in bringing advanced pediatric care to the community, recruiting sought-after specialists from across the country, expanding into outlying communities and planning construction of a facility that would, quite literally, tower over anything ever offered locally in children’s healthcare. But aligning a heritage of “kids come first” with advances in “healthcare second to none” required taking a whole new look at identity for Dayton Children’s Hospital. It was time to refresh the brand to re-engage the community.

Our solution:

Even with all the medical advances, the kids remained the clear focal point for the hospital—so we truly “starred” them in the rebrand. Our new visual identity, developed after dozens of creative explorations, sees multi-colored ribbons—representing the hospital’s diversity of people, services and expertise—coming together to surround a star at the center, the children. The mark is underscored by the Dayton Children’s name in all lower case letters, just as the hospital's exceptional level of care is underscored by the humility of professionals committed to service.

The result?

This kinetic new icon, dubbed the “whirligig,” has found an active home in a multitude of applications, from signage to advertising to video animation and even basketball court graphics. It’s inspiring a new sense of pride in employees, a new awareness in the media (as evidenced by copious coverage of the rebrand launch) and a new optimism in the community as people begin to realize that, in the words of the hospital, they can get the right care, right here.