An organization redefined by what it resolved to strike out
Don’t let the name fool you — Friends of Animals takes a hard stance on animal rights. Established in 1957, the organization has transformed the animal rights movement. What it hadn’t done was promote their great work. The new brand positioning I lead them to finally gives the organization a visual platform that “strikes out” animal abuse. This flexible identity plays out well across all media — from social media through to “Action Line,” their quarterly publication which my team and I completely redesigned and advised on content.
We started by focusing on the issues Friends of Animals resolves to strike out: the torture, killing, and abuse of animals. Inspiration came by literally drawing a line through these words, resulting in a design language of gestural scrawls, cross-outs, and underlines which evoke the wild, untamed spirit of nature the organization seeks to preserve.
The business cards allow for a the organization to list all the evils that they seek to “strike out” on the back, leaving only “friends” behind in white. Instead of printing three versions of the letterhead for each of their offices, we created one version with a checkbox that could be used, saving administrative costs, while also demonstrating their pragmatism.
Rather than making T-shirts and other swag with their logo slapped on, we sought to create items which would provoke discussion — even if it came across as confrontational. Or even a form of activism in and of themselves.
The success of any radical new rebranding — especially one where the audience is as passionate (and radical) as theirs — lies in their ability to explain the rationale. For nonprofits, this is especially important to convey because donors want to know their money was well-spent. Explainer videos are the best chance a brand has to do this. I worked with my team to write a concise script, and was adamant that we have the organization’s dynamic president be the one to do the voiceover. Our animations helped bring the brand to life, and was widely shared on social media, helping to make this an overwhelming success.
The quarterly publication, Action Line, was transformed from what appeared to be a general-interest nature magazine into an exciting modern journal with a definitive viewpoint.
Comprehensive brand guidelines were developed to give anyone within the organization rules to follow — not only by designers, but by anyone.