Rebranding NeighborSpace was not my work. It was the work of a group of people called The Very Group. I started The Very Group in 2017 after speaking with a few people who were familiar with the pro bono design scene—incredibly generous people like Stewart Cottman of Project Philanthropy, Mark Drozd of Simple Truth, and Kathleen Murphy of Forefront helped give shape to my idea, and my incredible friends, colleagues, and peers gave their time and effort to make this thing a reality, which was no small feat. We had three initial clients, and the group decided to go with the client that provided the most room for our creative expression: NeighborSpace.
Collateral Survey - Getting to Know the Client
We began the process by surveying the existing collateral and brand/logo expression. NeighborSpace was a 20-year-old non-profit that is partially government-funded, and it was up for funding renewal, so they thought they could benefit from a rebrand. I asked for as many objects as they had, and we documented all instances of brand or icon use, and pored over the pieces to see how they could be improved, taking notes along the way.
Creating a New Identity - Refining the Message
Our designers began by creating a moodboard pulled from Pinterest research, and then we took that information and began sketching logo ideas. Upon refining the ideas, we created three different approaches: a contemporary logomark, a logotype, and a more abstract, commercial logomark. NeighborSpace was receptive to the more traditional logomark, because they felt it gave them a sense of legitimacy that the old logomark lacked. But it would have to change. The bright colors, high contrast, and black lines felt more like a safety company, or some other service. They wanted to soften the impression, while maintaining the corporate feel.
Finessing the Mark - Pulling it All Together
Transitioning the existing mark into the final required softening the edges, the contrast, and combining it with a logotype with a new typeface. Friendliness, openness, community, a sense of things coming together - these ideas drove the logo creation.
Party With The Plant - A Community Coming Together to Celebrate the New Look
NeighborSpace wanted to celebrate the new look and inject some energy into the effort moving forward, so they reached out to The Plant. The Plant generously provided the space at a greatly reduced expense, and even offered bags of coffee and tours as party favors. In order to help the party look the part, The Very Group designed banners for the event, and designed invitations for the community.
Members of the NeighborSpace community came out to celebrate the organization and its new look, created by The Very Group. Some members of The Very Group were even able to come to the event (pictured bottom right).
Since The Very Group created the logomark and began ideation on icons, business cards, etc. I've worked with NeighborSpace to bring the branding into the rest of their company materials. This is an ongoing process.