I conceptualized and created the visual direction for the new brand.
Janet Goss, Partner
Oliver Griswold, VP of Brand Strategy
Kerry-Ann Hamilton, SVP
Brianne Johnson, Strategist
Serrin Ransom, Design Director
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.