Thriving since their original inception in the 1970s, Gordon RDA have been a big part of the Aberdeenshire community, bringing people together through the love of horse riding. By providing disabled children with the incredible new opportunity to ride horses and form a special bond, they have consistently reached new heights both in size and impact. Moving around venues across Aberdeenshire, GRDA eventually found their lasting home at Tweeddale in Keithhall Estate near Inverurie.
Scarcely slowing down since then, the registered Scottish charity (SCO28676) now have 7 ponies and more than 50 regular clients who love taking part in the wonderful service GRDA offers - thanks to their dedicated team of more than 70 volunteers. To meet their expanding growth and exciting future, we were more than willing to do what we can to help the organisation continue delivering a lasting service by developing the new Gordon RDA rebrand, along with the newly developed, custom-built, E-Commerce integrated website.
The brand – a subsection of the Riding for the Disabled organisation – was developed with a strong focus on conveying calmness and radiating a welcoming warmth to appeal to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. The vibrant and dark green shades used within the brand and all assets were inherited directly from the RDA. This allowed us to create a link to the RDA brand whilst also leaving plenty of room for innovation and a new direction with the creation of the new GRDA logo.
Symbolising and emphasising the importance of the relationship between rider and horse, the new logo shows both entwined within each other. Compact in its design, the new logo is easy to decipher and aesthetically impressive, depicting the value of the connection for both the horse and the rider at the heart of the GRDA brand. Simple, ageless and gender-neutral, the rider within the logo was designed to appeal to all, identifying GRDA as a brand for everyone.
Working alongside GRDA to create something focused and appropriate for their target market, the new logo had to be inclusive, accessible, inviting and friendly, whilst also sharing the story at the core of GRDA. The design was also influenced by how it would appear in print, on products and on display whether online or in person.
Designed and built as an extension of the new brand, the new website needed to display what GRDA is all about and include as much information as possible but in an appropriate, accessible, sensitive, and aesthetically pleasing way. Featuring a complete breakdown of the GRDA brand and its services, and information on how to volunteer and support the organisation, the website features a lot of detail – all of it vital to spreading the brand's message. Conscious of the fact the website could sway too heavily into an information overload, the design needed to create a fine balance that allows users to easily navigate through the site. This was achieved by creating a breathable and spacious atmosphere that doesn’t feel overwhelming for users to spend time in and find what they are looking for.
Relying on their team of fantastic volunteers, the GRDA website needed to have an easy to navigate and operate Content Management System that allows volunteers to jump on and upload the latest news and content whenever they needed to.
As a direct method of allowing users and visitors to support GRDA's ongoing success, the built-in E-Commerce site features a variety of options for donating and fundraising. Featuring choices to donate money directly to GRDA, the shop also allows users to decide for themselves exactly where they want their donation to go. Bags of feed and carrots, bales of hay, fundraising for equipment, sessions and maintenance are all available. There's even the custom option to support any of the 7 horses directly, so you know who's day you're making whether it's Buddy the dun gelding or Harvey the grey gelding. By adding an option to support each horse and including some information to get to know the horses, it allows the user to see directly how and who they are helping so their donation feels more authentic and meaningful.