We’ve been hard at work since January on an organization-wide rebrand for Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, which includes a messaging strategy, new logo system, identity, print and digital collateral and website. Last week, they unveiled their new look, and today we’re detailing the design process.
The rebrand was an exciting and intensive project. We had to learn everything about the organization, the communities they serve and most of us had to get schooled on the ways of Judaism – the culture, identity and religion.
“For me, the coolest, most rewarding part of the process was digging back into Jewish culture and symbolism, most of which I hadn’t thought of since my bar mitzvah,” said Brian Jacobson, Creative Director and Co-Founder of J2.
On the heels of a deep dive into the organization’s staff, service and culture, our design team, began to collect cultural, spiritual and historic iconography “It was exciting to benchmark for the Jewish Federation,” says designer Tessa Tripodi. “Since the culture is rich in legacy and tradition, we didn’t limit ourselves to only inspiring graphic design project, but collected pictures of textures, patterns, fabrics, architecture, art and symbolism.”
For the initial design presentation, we showed three logo concepts. We identified a common theme — the number three — that was a driving force in each option. The number three in judaism represents the idea of the creation of something new.
Logo Concept 1:
We wove three identical shapes together to form the Star of David. These three shapes also represent three core values in the new brand (giving, inclusion and tradition):
Logo Concept 2:
This mark was designed to reference an abstract torch, lamp or flame, another iconic Judaic symbol. The flame stylistically resembles Hebrew script and its three parts are a nod to new messaging.
Logo Concept 3:
This design symbolizes the weaving together of multiple Jewish communities and creates a mark that represents the organization’s new energy while carrying its internal light forward for the next generation.
Can you guess which one was chosen?
The Jewish Federation’s deciding committee felt it was fresh, unique and modern while still keeping tradition alive. J2 moved quickly on designing a system that grew out of the new mark’s architecture and geometry to include patterns, borders, and secondary logo systems.
The color palette was selected to utilize all colors from a flame, from dark blue to light yellow with the core colors leaning on oranges and dark, dark blues. As noted in the Jewish Exponent rebrand article, one of the biggest cultural shocks we had was finding out that yellow could not be a dominant color because of its association with the Holocaust.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is a hive of activity, hosting hundreds of events every season and working tirelessly to fundraise for their many amazing programs. To make the work of the Marketing and Communications Department more manageable, we provided templates for all collateral pieces to ensure a cohesive brand experience across all designed pieces.
“The biggest challenge was understanding the complexity of this organization,” said Rachel Calman of the Jewish Federation’s Marketing and Communications Dept. “The amount of work that we do is huge. The amount of people that we serve is hundreds of thousands.”
Stay tuned for more information about the full rebrand. And as we all say in the office now…
Carry the Light.