Fifty years of history, expanding

Sound Mental Health has been pioneering health services in the greater Seattle area for over 50 years. Over time, they expanded services beyond mental health to encompass more comprehensive health offerings. As a result, their name had become limiting, and a bit of a misnomer. As Sound Mental Health considered a name change, they approached Phinney Bischoff to develop a brand platform, a new logo and visual language that was reflective of the organization’s evolution.

A name shift and brand platform

To assess Sound Mental Health’s current brand perceptions amongst their primary market, we conducted a research and strategy process that included stakeholder interviews with several of the organization’s community partners. With our findings, we led Sound Mental Health through a collaborative brand workshop from which we developed a brand essence (“Pioneering Behavioral Health”) and brand platform. Our process culminated with a recommendation for a name evolution that is both simple and bold—Sound. The name protected their brand equity while positioning the organization for future growth and new markets. We also developed a qualifying tagline: “The forefront of behavioral healthcare,” which later evolved to “The forefront of healthcare” to reflect continued strategic shifts within the organization and expanded offerings.

Logo and visual expression

Using the brand platform to inform design, we developed a logo for Sound inspired by the idea of creating a new start. The progression toward a more solid, grounded state is shown both through movement (from supine to standing tall) and color transition. The supporting visual language and brand guide addresses color palette, typography, photography and other standards, supporting Sound staff in creating marketing materials and other assets with a clear and consistent brand expression.

“[The logo] sends an undeniably powerful and evocative message. We believe the message applies to anyone in need of support, including populations we will explore in the future.”
Steve McLean, Chief Marketing & Public Relations Officer