Bringing to life the power of music therapy 

Nordoff Robbins unveils new brand identity  

Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest music therapy charity, has today unveiled a powerful new brand identity, including an adjusted name, new logo and new website. This will reposition the charity and better reflect its purpose – to break through barriers with the power of music, creating space for people to express themselves and find connection in society. 

The charity is now known as Nordoff and Robbins (Nordoff & Robbins) to reflect the impact that its two pioneering founders – Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins – have had on shaping its unique approach to music therapy over more than 60 years of practice.  

The decision to reposition was driven by dual needs: enabling Nordoff and Robbins to expand its vital services to more children and adults across the UK, and protecting current and future funding for music therapy delivery, education and research.  

Nordoff and Robbins worked with award-winning design agency Pentagram and digital agency Hex Digital over a 12-month period to reposition the brand and help the organisation to communicate the benefit and impact of music therapy to a wider audience. Following extensive analysis and market research into the charity and music therapy sectors in the UK, it was clear that the new brand needed to redefine key audiences, whilst increasing impact and awareness, particularly among young people. 

With its clients and mission at its core, Nordoff and Robbins has refreshed its purpose, putting accessibility front and centre and amplifying the power of music through the vibrant brand palate and logo. The central brand proposition ‘Break through with music’, summarises the charity’s unique offer, helping people to connect and communicate through music. 

The rebrand includes a twist on the charity’s well-established name by changing it to Nordoff and Robbins. In its designed form, the ampersand works as a bridge, and also reflects the strong connection between the therapists and their clients. The new logo, created by a single line, is inspired by visualisations of sound waves which join the two letterforms. The symbol reflects both the freedom of expression that music gives and the connection between a music therapist and person, as well as the founders. In contrast, the wordmark is direct and grounded, and represents the charity’s rich heritage and expertise in the field of music therapy. 

Photography for the charity’s new website, social channels and marketing materials show both the progress and connection that music therapy brings, and the difference Nordoff and Robbins can make in someone’s life. Candid photography taken in a music therapy session or in the client’s own space captures real experiences – whether that’s joy, moments of connection or the negative emotions someone is going through on that day. 

Nordoff and Robbins’ trained music therapists work with children and adults with extreme life challenges, including injuries, disabilities and terminal illness. In 2022, Nordoff and Robbins music therapists reached 11,807 individuals throughout the year, holding 46,453 therapy sessions. The charity also worked with 359 partner organisations such as schools, care homes and hospices to provide much needed music therapy.  

Nadra Shah, Director of Engagement and Communications, Nordoff and Robbins said: “Making the decision to go through a brand reposition is never taken lightly, but when the evidence presented is clear, you have to take action. Our research told us that the need for music therapy is currently at its highest, but public understanding of the benefits is low. To protect and increase our services we had to change the way in which we communicated our work and its impact. 

“Our brand reposition explores the unique musical synergy between therapist and client; it is participative, expressive, vibrant and shows the potential of the people we support with integrity and honesty.   

“We now have a brand that will help us clearly express our ambition and engage the public. Our new identity effectively communicates the power and connection that Nordoff and Robbins stands for, and puts people and music at the heart of what we do.” 

Marina Willer, partner at Pentagram said: “It was a huge honour to work with Nordoff and Robbins. The organisation helps so many people, using music therapy to realise everyone’s potential whatever difficulties they might face. Its amazing work deserves to be known by a much wider audience, and I hope our new brand identity will help it get the recognition it deserves and touch even more lives as a result.”