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As we mark a significant milestone—our 20th anniversary—we at Design Action Collective are excited to share not just a new chapter in our history but a refresh of our brand identity—a reflection of our growth, our values, and the dynamic movements we serve. Below is our journey as a case study of our various brand services.

A black booklet on an orange background. The title reads Design Action Collective: Brand Identity

Two Decades of Designing Change: Evolving with Purpose

Twenty years ago, we began as a group of passionate organizers. Our collective has always been at the forefront of championing social change through design. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we’re also celebrating the evolution of our team.

Today, we’re proud to stand as a majority queer and trans shop, bringing our varied perspectives and experiences to every project. Our commitment to lifting up our diverse communities and movements is mirrored in our work and workplace culture. We’ve invested in technology and art direction, so that we can experiment and lead at the intersection of design and social justice, but our collective’s strength ultimately lies in our shared commitment to liberation and our unique ability to translate that into powerful visual narratives.

A New Look for a Timeless Mission: Honoring Our History, Designing Our Future

Our new visual identity is a bold step forward yet firmly rooted in our foundational Points of Unity. With the help of Lightbox Collaborative, we developed a blend of modern design aesthetics and the unwavering spirit of activism that has always driven us. We’ve crafted an identity that speaks to the heart of who we are: a bold, worker-owned cooperative committed to justice, equity, and the power of community.

Fierce. Bold. Creative. Grounded. Resilient. Next to a still image from a documentary on Yuri Kochiyama

The Logo

The refreshed logo symbolizes unity and strength. Able to be written in one fluid line, it echoes our dedication to collaboration and solidarity. See A Deep Dive Into Our Logo Process below for a more in-depth look at how we came to this design.

Design Action Collective's logo, A continuous like that combines the letters D,A, and C

The Font

Montserrat is a versatile and modern font that enhances brand identity with its readability and stylish geometric lines. It adapts easily to many applications, from digital media to print, and pairs well with other fonts to create a solid visual hierarchy. It embodies Design Action’s history of responsive adaptation and our future built around solidarity with diverse movements.

Type: DAC Mont for titles (custom font)
Montserrat for body copy (google font). Example lettering in each font is shown. 
20 years Design Action Collective

Color Palette and Shapes

Our updated color palette is inspired by the tapestry of causes we champion—vibrant, bold, and complementary, just like the voices we amplify. And our new brand design elements, such as imperfect circles, shifting waves, and textured pinstripes, embody both fluidity and structure, representing the dynamic nature of our work and the strong communities we serve.

Text describing the color palette with example swatches in organic round shapes. 
Color: Saturated orange is bold and speaks to DAC's history. 
Deep navy and warm white provide contrast and ferocity. 
Turquoise accents provide fresh brightness.

Image Treatment

We’ve taken an archival approach to our collateral, mimicking the textures of newsprint and documentary footage with filtered and grainy overlays to honor the legacy of previous movements and the champions who paved the way. Our designs often reference names and faces of movement leaders as a tribute to their struggles and victories, ensuring that their spirit lives on in the work we create.

Example images in two tone version. First of Black Panther members waving Free Huey banners and second of a Manchester protester for Black Lives Matter.

Forward in Solidarity: Join Us in Celebration

As we step into this new era, we invite you to help us celebrate our past and join in the future we’re building together. With a refreshed brand and strengthened team, we’ll continue to design actions for a better world. See what it would be like to work with us to create or update your own brand identity, as we honor our pledge to be a creative partner for change-makers like you.

A Deep Dive Into Our Logo Process

We began our re-branding process by working with Lightbox Collaborative, who helped us to articulate our brand personality. We had to reflect on Design Action Collective’s story during our founding and startup years, as well as how we define our shop now. 

Lightbox conducted several interviews with both our clients and our professional peers to help us map the landscape in which we operate, and to determine how our brand is currently perceived. From there, we developed Design Action’s “Brand Promise” to our clients:

We promise to value your work as much as you do, and help you win with integrity, by delivering high quality services.

Lightbox then led us through a series of sessions in which we defined key words that describe our brand personality and tone. The four descriptors that we united on for Personality were: Creative, Fierce, Grounded, and Resilient. We described our brand tone as Collaborative & Cooperative, Transparent & Direct, and Strong & Bold.

Brand Personality Spectrum: A chart showing where that DAC gravitates toward descriptive words like Creative, Fierce, Grounded, and Resilient.

From there, members of Design Action led our own logo re-design process. We continually referenced the brand personality and tone key words while designing and evaluating logo concepts.

We began the logo re-design with a “Logo Landscape” exercise in which we researched and compiled logos of other social-justice minded design studios and also of other cooperatives.

After this, individual designers brainstormed logo concept sketches and presented them internally to the Design Team. We decided that the primary logo should revolve around the “DAC” acronym.

Black and white logo iterations DAC Design Action Collective
Black and white logo iterations DAC Design Action Collective
Black and white logo iterations DAC Design Action Collective

Those concepts were refined and narrowed down to  three initial options. The Design Team collected feedback, refined the concepts further, and presented a final logo (Option A below).

1. Reminder: Make your choice based on what will resonate with our client, not personal preferences/asthetics
2. Choose your adventure! Voting is anonymous.
3. Round 1: choose your favorite.
4. Round 2: choose between the top 2 finalists.
Three black and white logo options for DAC are shown

In the end, the collective approved Option A, which is written with one fluid line, highlighting the balanced and unified nature of our team.