Brand Overhaul: National Alliance to End Sexual Violence

The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence represents virtually all of the statewide coalitions in its field, yet suffered from low profile in Washington DC — troublesome, since the alliance is focused solely on federal legislation. To punch above its weight in a crowded marketplace of inside-the-beltway players, NAESV needed a fresh start.

The organization’s stakeholders needed to believe in the identity and help us shape it from the get-go. So Hairpin surveyed volunteers and allies, interview board members, studied their peers before any design. The identity had to follow bedrock principles of good branding: be authentic, be relevant to target audiences, be clear and above all, be different. Projecting the identity had to succeed within very real constraints for our client, since it operated within a limited budget, staff time and an environment that required cooperation among allied nonprofits.

We virtually banished the use of the group’s unmemorable acronym and focused on the name’s action words — “end sexual violence” — a mission statement and call-to-action in one. On a whim, we checked on the phrase’s availability as a URL and, surprisingly, it was available. We re-wrote the organization’s stock descriptor and elevator pitch to echo that language and cut out unnecessary detail. We designed a simple square mark built around the bumper-sticker phrase that formed a natural wedge while reflecting the activist, tenacious personality of the organization.

We embraced the color teal, adopted by the broader movement of anti-sexual violence activists as their official color — a nod to the organization’s desire for cross-organization solidarity. We took full advantage of the block design by creating a brochure and business card as squares. The website, too, melded the signature teal within a no-nonsense, black-and-white design.



Website set to launch in February 2012: