In early 2017 we were hired to rebrand the Family Justice Center Sonoma County. We had a strong desire to support this amazing organization so we were thrilled to get the gig. TIV has worked with the Stanislaus Family Justice Center in Modesto since 2011, so we have intimate experience with the impact this model makes in the community.
The family justice center model pulls all of the resources focused on supporting victims of family violence together under one roof. In the past victims would have had to travel from law enforcement to family services to legal services…a task requiring more time and resources than many had.
We jumped into our DISCOVER phase right away. Our primary contacts at the FJC were the Executive Director and the Board of Directors. Any project with that many stakeholders must be well planned and expertly navigated. Our learning from a number of other organizations such as the Santa Rosa Violence Protection Partnership left us with a strong process for this type of rebrand.
The research showed that family justice centers around the country had many different approaches to learn from. We did a color study of other family justice centers, reviewed local competition (in this case the competition is not for services, it’s with other non-profits for public knowledge and involvement in promoting and fundraising the organization) and decided our current color pallet was our best bet. Finalizing the color discussion put us a couple steps ahead.The audience research may have taken those couple of steps back, but through discussion we realized that while we had 7 distinct audiences who we needed to speak to, we had a lot of potential overlap with the approach of the branding.
We came to the table with 6 initial concepts. And all were received very positively with two jumping out as the favorites. However, as we progressed we uncovered potential challenges with each. For instance, the F and J in concept #4 were intended, and were perceived by some, as embracing in a supportive manner. To a former victim that now sits on the board, the F appeared to be attacking the J. Concept #3 looked abstract and appealing to some but it looked like blood to another.
It turns out we underestimated the difference between the 7 audiences. And as we as a group worked to develop a brand mark that evoked the emotion tied in with such an amazing organization, we realized how different the views of the audiences were.
We never want to reset the project, but in some cases it’s necessary. And it’s important to know when it’s necessary. The logos we had developed were beautiful. They were everything the Family Justice Center team asked for. But we realized as a group that we needed a more simple and flexible logo that could be used in conjunction with imagery to appeal to the various audiences. Strong and aspirational photos would inspire community members to get involved. Empowering and supportive photos would show the services a victim would receive. And the brandmark on its own would be recognizable.
The end result is a departure from the original approach. But it shows how powerful the process of developing a brand can be and the learning involved.