Picture of the Anera logo.

Anera

Rebranding a not-for-profit that provides humanitarian effort and sustainable development for communities in the Middle East.

Project Summary

Project Type

Identity Design

My Role

I conceptualized and created the visual direction for the new brand.

Timeframe

2018

Company

GMMB

Team Members

Janet Goss, Partner
Oliver Griswold, VP of Brand Strategy
Kerry-Ann Hamilton, SVP
Brianne Johnson, Strategist
Serrin Ransom, Design Director

Project Details

Anera (American Near East Refugee Aid) is one of America's largest non-profits working solely in the Middle East since 1968. After 50 years of operations, the organization underwent a rebranding initiative with goals to:

  • more clearly convey who they are and what they do in the space
  • attract "emerging leader" and "young professional" audiences ready to help fund their mission
  • step into their 50th-anniversary fundraising campaign with a strong, clear message and new look to lead them into the future

As the lead designer on the project, I worked closely with a team of brand strategists, creatives, account managers, and client staff members to develop an inspiring visual identity. The new branding required acceptance from a broad range of Anera stakeholders—including the D.C. staff, a new CEO, current and prospective donors, and the on-the-ground team in the Middle East.

Kick-Off

Soon after the brand strategy team at GMMB concluded brand positioning, values, and story, I joined the group for the kick-off meeting to begin the visual design phase.

After gathering valuable information from the team and conducting a landscape analysis, I began sketching and sharing initial ideas with my design director to determine which ones had the most potential.

Image of sketch ideas.

The Final Design

The new logo represents the human impact of the organization's work, evoking ideas from their brand story of building up and moving forward. The abstract figures represent the three primary countries and focus areas Anera works in. The transparency and overlapping shapes within the figures symbolize a community moving forward together. The colors and typographic treatment add warmth and fill it with hope.

Image of old logo.
Old logo
A picture of one of the pros/cons pages.
New logo
Picture of the Anera logo in Arabic.
Arabic version of the new logo

Diagonal elements pulled from the mark add energy and dynamism to the brand; they can be layered and colored multiple ways across materials while maintaining a sense of continuity.

Image of Anera logo. Image of branding stationary. Image of newsletter design.

Anera in the World

The brand has received praise amongst the U.S. and Middle East teams, where the organization already has a solid reputation. In addition to the materials we created, the organization has beautifully implemented the new brand on many items, including coffee cups, pens, hard hats, office signage, and work vests for their on the ground staff in the Middle East.

Image of the Anera logo on a sign in the Middle East.

Image of an Anera office sign in the Middle East.

A picture of the landscape matrix.

To see this image's original facebook post, please click here.

A picture of one of the pros/cons pages.

To see this image's original facebook post, please click here.

Conclusion

In the first presentation of logo designs, the client felt I missed the mark. I listened to their feedback, took it to heart, and then worked on a new round of options that addressed their concerns. The following presentations ended on much more positive notes. I learned collaboration is the key to success, and sharing designs early can help prevent wasting time on the wrong idea.

The final brand was well-received by teams in the West and the Middle East, and the client was so happy with where the work landed that they reached out to us about extending the scope of our work to include additional projects. And we were honored to help the organization celebrate its 50th anniversary.

A picture of one of the pros/cons pages.A picture of the landscape matrix.
Anera 50th anniversary logo that we created for the celebration.
The GMMB team at the Anera 50th celebration.