A brand identity and website design concepts for Animal Search

Although their team’s stayed small, in the past twenty years, Animal Search has become the UK’s biggest and busiest missing pet finding service. They needed a brand identity and website design concepts which reflects that position.

Above— My final concept design for the Animal Search home page, including a refreshed colour palette, new typography, and illustrations by Vic Bell.

Losing man’s best-friend—a cat, dog, or even an eclectus parrot—can be devastating. Animal Search help people find missing pets through advertising campaigns, community networks, and specialist search services. Their story had all the ingredients I needed to be interested in helping them with their branding and website design.

People ask me sometimes how I approach a redesign project. Truth be told, I adapt my process for every client as yes, every client’s needs are different, but also because changing things keeps me from falling back on predictable patterns. Designing for Animal Search involved me working on; art direction and brand concept design, colour, typography, layout, and a little user interface design.

Finding a pet is like solving a puzzle

As many businesses do, Animal Search have always described what they do, not why, or the impact their services have on people’s happiness. Yes, they sell advertising, run community networks, and their search teams look for lost pets. But, in reality, what they do is reunite families by solving the puzzle of a missing pet.

Animal Search logo markThink of Animal Search and animal silhouettes, magnifying glasses, and paw prints, are all predictable choices, but none represent solving a puzzle by finding a pet. My new logo mark brings all these aspects together and the choice of which animal forms the maze can change depending on circumstances.

Above— experimental logo marks by the wonderful Katherine Cory.

I incorporate illustration into my work as often as I can. I didn’t need to look too hard to find the right illustrator for the Animal Search puzzle concept. It had to be Vic Bell. I’ve worked with Vic on several projects, including Equfund and my very own Errol the Gorilla.

Above— Illustrations by Vic Bell, from inspiration to final result.

Refreshing the colour family

While their bright blue and orange colours certainly pack a punch, they didn’t stand out from the dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of other businesses using similar colours. Embracing a palette of softer—but no less impactful colours—helps the Animal Search brand feel more approachable.

Left— Dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of businesses use blue and orange. Center— My shortlist of possible colour combinations. Right— A new colour palette for branding and website.

Static visuals

After first agreeing the new high-level creative direction for the updated Animal Search brand as a whole, I created static designs for their website’s most important pages, paying particular attention to how someone’s experience of their brand would be consistent across platforms.

Above— Pages from the Animal Search missing pet listings, and the small screen experience of their home page.

A consistent brand experience

My goal for Animal Search was to create a consistent experience of their brand across desktop, mobile, posters and printed materials including their guides and leaflets. I developed a set of foundation styles which include:

Above— Pages from Animal Search guides and leaflets include the same foundation styles as their website design concepts.

Cutting room floor

In every project, there are designs that never make it beyond the concept stage, and Animal Search was no exception. Here are a designs for a highly distinctive series of missing pet posters.

Above— Unlucky for some—this time it was me—, this series of missing pet posters were a step too far for Animal Search.

The new Animal Search website will launch some time in 2019.


I’m available for hire to consult on and design products and websites. Based in North Wales, I travel regularly to work with clients world-wide.

Available from January 2020

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For work enquiries email

Or call us on +44 (0)1745 851848


Stuff & Nonsense Ltd.
Eversleigh, Lon Capel,
Flintshire, North Wales,
LL18 6EJ, UK