Co-designing with Prisoners

For 2023, we have chosen University of the Arts London's Design Against Crime Research Centre as our pro bono partner, headed up by Professor Lorraine Gamman.

We're currently in the process of collaborating to create the brand UNTOLD, co-designed with young men currently serving time at HM Prison Isis. UNTOLD aims to give every young person in prison the chance to rewrite their story.

"UNTOLD aims to give every young person in prison the chance to rewrite their story...."

We wanted to think a little differently about how to approach pro-bono work. Often it's a case of resolving a challenge for a client and working through our normal process, like we would with any fee-paying job. Instead, we wanted to do something a little more revolutionary, and a little more representative of the challenge at hand.

"...we wanted to do something a little more revolutionary, and a little more representative of the challenge at hand."

This challenge means finding radical ways to rethink how we design and how we can impart knowledge about building a brand. We’ll be working with people who will never have had an opportunity like this before, let alone be part of a team building a brand together.

So with this in mind, we’ve built a short branding course which will provide education about branding and our industry, resulting in an identity for UNTOLD, built together with the prisoners.

This project has raised so many questions for us as a creative studio; how can you build a brand identity without computers? How can you break down the essential elements of what makes a brand brilliant and build it with people who have no formal design training? How can you communicate everything which makes this project unique? How can you co-design a brand identity with people in prison?

We’re still at the very beginning of our journey, our course has just started with a group of young men at HM Prison Isis enrolled. We hope to have a brand identity that we could never have imagined before Autumn.

Project Manager, Carrie Bale had the following to say about the experience -

“Working with the young men at HMP ISIS was as humbling as it was rewarding; we quickly forgot where we were during those workshops and the focus was only teaching the creative task at hand. All preconceptions at the door, just 8 people in one room: there is nothing more human than all drawing on a blank sheet of paper together.

The curious and positive energy received in our time there was so inspiring - they continued to engage together in the face of adversity. Moving forwards I will look to ensure projects channel this collaborative, inclusive approach. To be patient, kind and to never judge a book by its cover!”

Impact Summaries


  • Our intention is to establish a long-term partnership with a specific charity for the entire year of 2023.
  • We aim to select a charity that aligns with our values and mission, allowing us to make a meaningful and sustained impact.
  • This resulted in going beyond just creating a brand identity for Untold, instead we decided to create a brand education programme to run within HMP Isis. This enabled us to codesign the brand identity with the prisoners.
  • We are committed to establishing a robust monitoring and evaluation system in collaboration with Untold.
  • This will allow us to measure and report on the tangible impact of our assistance, ensuring transparency and accountability.
  • Beyond the initial partnership, we will maintain an ongoing relationship with the Untold.
  • We will assess the suitability of further support and explore additional opportunities to assist them in achieving their goals.


  • We provided our team with the opportunity to work outside of their normal frame of reference, to provide guidance and learning for people who may be overlooked and under-represented in professional realms.

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