Alcohol Research UK + Alcohol Concern = Alcohol Change UK

The Logo Creative™ ✏
5 min readNov 22, 2018


Offthetopofmyhead has created the name, logo and identity for Alcohol Change UK, the new national charity formed from the merger of Alcohol Research UK and Alcohol Concern.

Every year in the UK alcohol-related harm leads to thousands of lives lost, and hundreds of thousands more damaged. The harm goes far beyond the people who drink too much, it affects families, communities, and ultimately our whole society. There are an estimated 600,000 dependent drinkers in England alone — people whose relationship with alcohol is causing them and their families ill-health, conflict and pain — and four out of five of them are receiving no treatment. Alcohol was a factor in almost 24,000 deaths in the UK in 2017. It costs the NHS an estimated £3.5 billion every year in England alone. And its total cost to society is estimated to be at least £21 billion each year.

Alcohol Research UK + Alcohol Concern = Alcohol Change UK

Alcohol Change UK

Alcohol Change UK is the new national charity formed from the merger of Alcohol Research UK and Alcohol Concern. Alcohol Concern was founded in 1984 and has a history of campaigning, working with the treatment sector, and supporting people directly. Alcohol Research UK, formerly the Alcohol Education and Research Council, was founded in 1982 and has funded over 800 projects that built the evidence base to help reduce alcohol harm.

Alcohol Change UK aren’t anti-alcohol — they’re against the harm it causes. And they’re for alcohol change. Their vision is of a world free from serious alcohol harm. They believe that people should make their own choices — they don’t tell anyone what to do or what not to do. They are against the stigma that is so often associated with drinking problems — so they challenge it. They know that alcohol harm is a complex problem that needs sophisticated responses — so they avoid oversimplification. They believe in evidence — so they steer clear of ideological positions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Alcohol Change UK work across the whole gamut of serious alcohol harms, from mental and physical to societal and economic. Everything they do is firmly evidence-based. They’ll work with anyone who shares their focus on reducing alcohol harm to connect audiences: researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and the public. Alcohol Change UK are totally independent of the alcohol industry.

Dr Richard Piper, Chief Executive, Alcohol Change UK says, “In 2017, twenty people died each day because of their drinking. But there are signs the tide is changing. The amount of alcohol drunk by young people is falling. Sales of alcohol-free and low alcohol beer have increased by 58% year-on-year. The time is ripe for serious change — to improve and save hundreds of thousands of lives.”

Creating change

Alcohol Change UK is working towards five major, interlinked changes that need to happen to reduce alcohol harm: improved knowledge, better policies and regulation, shifted cultural norms, improved drinking behaviours, and more and better support and treatment. Their strategy is to drive progress in all five areas simultaneously.

Improved knowledge

They want alcohol-related policy and practice to be developed based on robust research evidence; new ideas about alcohol harm reduction created, tested and shared; and the knowledge base enriched by the experiences of those affected by alcohol harm. Everything we do is based on this.

Better policies and regulation

They want to see a policy environment that prioritizes the reduction of alcohol harms in all their forms based on robust and reliable evidence.

Shifted cultural norms

They want to see the development of more informed, balanced and diverse drinking cultures across the UK, with alcohol playing a less central role.

Improved drinking behaviors

They want to see more people with the motivation, confidence, and ability to exert control over their drinking and less need for specialist support and treatment services.

More and better support and treatment

They want to see a vibrant and diverse treatment sector that is effective, properly funded, well commissioned and coordinated, and easy for people with drinking problems and their families to navigate.

Name, logo and identity

John Spencer, Founder and Creative Director, Offthetopofmyhead says, “The name, Alcohol Change UK, has a strong connection with the charity’s vision and mission. It’s descriptive, but it’s positive, uplifting and aspirational too. And that’s an unusual blend.

“It made sense for a name that’s all about change to become a logo that’s about change. The configuration of the words hints at a decline in the harmful effects of alcohol because of improved knowledge, better policies and regulation, shifted cultural norms, improved drinking behaviours, and more and better support and treatment. It’s a straight-talking logo — it says what it means and means what it says.

“Language and words play a big part in Alcohol Change UK’s identity. Their identity is so easy to use it almost designs itself. We’ve designed a geometric sans-serif typeface called Change and a distinctive but straightforward typographic style that echoes the design of their logo by using blocked words for emphasis. And there’s a ballsy colour palette of orange, black, pink, purple and yellow.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Offthetopofmyhead has also created an endorsed relationship between Alcohol Change UK and it’s well-known Dry January campaign to clarify their relationship.

We’ve designed a huge collection of materials for the launch of the new charity including stationery; marketing, fundraising, research, training, and events collateral; social media images and banners; signage and office interiors; and promotional materials.

Offthetopofmyhead collaborated with typographer Alan Meeks and designer Claire Lythgoe on the development of the identity.


Alcohol Change UK’s website has been developed by digital agency Electric Putty who specialize in working with nonprofit organizations.

Malanie Burke, Client Services Director, Electric Putty says, “This has been an exciting project. We’ve really enjoyed collaborating with Alcohol Change UK and the team at Offthetopofmyhead to create a website that’s true to the charity’s ethos and that will help Alcohol Change UK achieve their vision of a world free from serious alcohol harm.”



The Logo Creative™ ✏

Award Winning International Brand Identity Design Studio: Creating Adaptable Visual Identities that are Memorable & Timeless. Working With Clients Globally.