Derby City Mission branding & website project


Last night was a big night for Derby City Mission (DCM) - it held it's annual celebration and there were lots of eyes on its new website!

Not bad timing, as we recently finished a branding and website project for DCM, refreshing their previous identity and putting in place a dynamic, user-friendly site that will serve the team into the future.

We're good friends with DCM, which is based nearby in the Normanton area of Derby. It is a Christian charity that exists exists to serve the city of Derby through social action and Christian mission.

DCM runs an extensive series of programmes which are helping and impacting the poor, homeless and marginalised in the city. They have several hundred volunteers that serve throughout the year.

N.B. The DCM team has made some wide-ranging changes to their site, so it does not necessarily match our original designs - SC 09/05/18

Derby City Mission branding project by The Apple Yard

The brief

Julio, CEO, approached us with the brief:

  1. Refresh the branding, keeping the ram's head identical, and bringing a more contemporary feel with font choice and positioning
  2. Bring a facelift to the two main projects: Nighshelter and Jubilee clinic
  3. Overhaul the existing website with new branding and intuitive, user-friendly content management system

Rachael, who is our graphic designer, put together the initial designs based on the iconic Derbyshire ram.

Derby City Mission Branding

These designs went to the board, which loved the ram, but asked for a set in colour, and examples of how they could be incorporate into the main DCM logo.

A road-test from one of the team resulted in feedback that the DCM element did not stand out against the Street Pastor part when used in smaller size as an e-mail footer.

As such, we made some further edits to ensure that the distinction between the two was sufficient.

Old Website


New Website

Derby City Mission website project by The Apple Yard

Our thoughts

Here are some of the things we enjoyed about the project:


1. Integrated analytics

Derby City Mission branding & website project

Every website we design comes with integrated analytics, which are built into the Squarespace platform.

This is a pared down version of Google Analytics, and is much more user-friendly, highlighting the main trends at a glance.

Since the site went live last week, the analytics show a healthy rise in traffic.

This is the tip of the iceberg when it come to working with websites, and these insights can be used to make all sorts of optimisations, based on the behaviour of visitors.

We also connect all our websites with Google Analytics as standard, ensuring that they are crawled and sitemaps submitted.


2. Personal training with the team

Throughout the project, we have worked closely with the DCM team, including Felicity the Communications Manager, Suzie the administrator and Julio, the CEO.

We have enjoyed getting to know people on the team individually, and so it was fulfilling to conduct some website training with them in-person at their office in Derby.

This was an important part of the project, as it is critical that each team is able to manage and look after the website once we have handed it over.

This is why we use the Squarespace platform, which allows non-specialists to handle it with ease.

Felicity made the following comment after the training session: 

I have yet to play around with adding videos yet, but it’s on the cards! Julio is loving how, mostly, it’s intuitive to change things.
— Felicity, Communications Manager

We also received this kind text from her in the aftermath of the celebration:


3. The ram!

It's hard to get away from the ram, living in Derby, particularly with Derbyshire County Football Club prominent on Pride Park. Equally, the Mercian Regiment, which recruits from the area, has the ram as its mascot.

As such, it was a pleasure in the branding part of the project to have the opportunity to bring a new lease of life to the ram.

On one level it's a simple thing, but since the ram is essentially embedded in the shared identity and culture of Derby, it was important to get it right!

We like the simplicity and the way that the curves and blocks of the ram bring it to life and make it unmistakable.

Derby City Mission Website project by The Apple Yard