What does it mean to be an American? What does it mean to be a good citizen? These were the questions asked by myself and a small design team as we worked to rebrand the National Flag Foundation in Pittsburgh, PA. Our research, testing, and engaging with the people throughout the city aligned with the feedback from the Foundation members guided our efforts in crafting not only the new visual design guideline, but a refreshed way of viewing and practicing patriotism that celebrates it's people and diversity.
The first task was to gather research from the community. We conducted interviews and studies on the perception of the American flag, projected what potential positive change could occur, and how that vision for the non-profit could be communicated through design. Our findings confirmed that most people wanted to love their communities, celebrate what makes them unique, and remember how we all come together under the banner of the American flag. These reflections helped us form the motto "Freedom makes us one, and the little things possible", as well as guided the new values, voice, and mission for the foundation:
After our research set the core beliefs of the organization, we moved to the imagery. It was a conscious effort to pull away from digital tools from the start to capture the organic form and movement of the flag unfurling in the wind. After a number of sketches, we digitized the forms, created a strong type and color system, then refined them together into a wordmark to be applied across the entire brand system.
By the end of 10 weeks, our team delivered our concept to the National Flag Foundation board members which included a new wordmark, a stationary set, a billboard that was displayed over Independence Day weekend, website designs, printed posters, and a Design Language Guideline for future endeavors as the organization continues to grow.