Health Care is Here

San Francisco Health Network

Research and Strategy
Branding and Visual Identity

Re-defining a public health care system

The San Francisco Health Network (San Francisco’s public health care system) was functioning as a loose confederation of clinics and hospitals rather than a unified system. The staff at these clinics and hospitals had trouble describing the Network and articulating its benefits and promises to the patients and the community. In addition, many of the health care sites within the Network had their own identities, logos, and unique ways of describing their services, which created a confusing experience for all.

Over a period of six months, starting with in-depth research in multiple communities, neighborhoods, and languages, Daylight developed the brand strategy, story and messaging, brand principles, and visual identity to answer the question, how should San Franciscans think of, experience, and talk about the San Francisco Health Network? The San Francisco Health Network has taken ownership of the work and successfully rolled out the new brand and brand experiences in August 2017. 


Shifting focus: from the system to the patient

The goal of this engagement was threefold: to publicly reaffirm San Francisco’s commitment to access to health care for all of its residents, regardless of immigration status or lack of insurance, to create a unifying brand that resonated deeply with patients and staff, and to give staff desperately needed tools to clearly and consistently describe the Network, its values, and its services.

Before we completed the rebrand work, the San Francisco Health Network's messaging placed emphasis on the providers and the system by describing itself as the City’s “only complete system of care.” The Network logo was an icon of the Golden Gate Bridge, again placing focus on the system and the City rather than its residents. 

"We learned that while our patients loved their clinic, their provider or their health team, they didn’t know they were part of a Network... We set out to fix that by improving patient communications and supporting staff understanding of the new Network structure."

San Francisco Health Network executive

Health Care is Here

During our research, we spoke to over 40 San Francisco Health Network primary care patients from English, Spanish, and Chinese speaking communities; one consistent message was that the primary care clinics are viewed as an essential part of the community. There was pride in both the quality of care provided and the ease of access for community members. Our brand work focuses on promoting what patients told us is most important: "world-class care, near you, for you."

Using the patients’ perspective, the Network can now distill their mission (supporting patients wherever they are in life, in whatever language they speak, in whatever community they live in) into four words: "Health care is here." And the logo is now a heart and flower. The flower, with overlapping petals, represents the collaboration and partnership of all within the network. The heart at the center emphasizes our focus on caring for people, always putting their best interest first. We used multiple colors—seven of them—to celebrate the diversity of San Francisco.

City-wide launch

The San Francisco Department of Public Health successfully launched the new brand at more than 30 care sites across San Francisco in August 2017.