Ashton Kutcher’s child protective non-profit Thorn unveils brand refresh

Non-profit Thorn gets a rebrand

Children’s advocate non-profit Thorn, which was co-founded by Ashton Kutcher, has unveiled a new brand refresh as part of a partnership with global creative consultancy Wolff Olins. The new branding will help Thorn articulate its vision for the future.

Thorn, which is celebrating its fifth year, builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse, sitting at the intersection of technology and social good. The organization gained national attention earlier this year following Kutcher’s impassioned testimony to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. After five years of building momentum, chief executive officer Julie Cordua knew it was the right time to equip Thorn with a brand identity that could communicate the vision and hope needed to bring more people to the fight.

The six-month collaboration between Thorn and Wolff Olins has helped to clearly visualize the non-profit’s vision.

“The work we do is often hard to talk about, whether it’s the pain of child sexual abuse or the complexity of the technology we build,” said Cordua. “To make as big of an impact as possible, we needed to find a better way to share our mission, engage partners and create hope for the future we’re trying to build.”

Thorn brings together bright minds in technology, NGOs and law-enforcement to solve the problems it addresses. The challenge was to find a renewed, hopeful way of expressing Thorn’s purpose that was broad enough for all of these audiences.

To express their purpose, the team crafted a new manifesto: ‘Until every child can be a kid.’ This brand narrative, built on audience insights, encapsulates what Thorn is all about – restoring the basic right of a child to be safe, curious and happy.

“There will always be a new tech frontier, but this idea that ‘every child has the right to be a kid’ gives Thorn and their partners a human-centric purpose,” said Mila Linares, strategy director, Wolff Olins.

The visual identity for Thorn utilizes literal and metaphorical visual cues. Thorn’s name came from the idea that ‘the thorn protects the rose’. The new thorn symbol is featured in groups to express unity, strength in numbers and an active defense, and the new wordmark is a sharper and more solid type treatment signaling Thorn’s maturity and strength.

The team also put together an image bank that celebrates and inspires, as well as a toolkit that allows Thorn’s team to produce materials themselves.

“Nobody wants to talk about child sexual abuse, but we need to be able to talk about what’s happening in order to stop it. The new visual expression facilitates starting the conversation with an optimistic sense that we can actually do something when we work together,” stated Cynthia Pratomo, creative director, Wolff Olins.

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