Child Aid works in a crowded marketplace of groups seeking to make the world better through education. They have good reasons for working in Guatemala, but getting a donor in the US to care about people so far away—especially when things at home are dicey enough—is hard. To complicate things, Child Aid’s program evolved in recent years. And that change left Child Aid with old, muddled language that did not describe their impactful, inspiring work. And Child Aid’s funding growth had stagnated because they weren’t reaching beyond their established base of supporters and friends. We wanted to help Child Aid find the confidence and clarity to present its work in the most rousing and effective way possible so they can do even more good in the world.

Defining the challenges and stakeholders involved proved essential to understanding how we could make this process fruitful. We met in-person with the Portland office and remotely with the Guatemalan team to learn their unique perspectives to the rebranding effort. Getting to know the team and the work they do helped us understand the core of Child Aid’s work and passion. Their commitment to working with indigenous communities has made them successful in ways other top-down agencies have not.

We distilled what we heard and experienced into Child Aid’s brand essence—creating changemakers through education—from which an overarching communications strategy would be built. We defined key principles that embodied Child Aid’s brand, and we began mapping a hierarchy of messaging based on a model of attracting, engaging, and then connecting with an audience.

Our design studies began from the definition of a brand system: a name, logo, and tagline that work harmoniously to quickly and elegantly communicate Child Aid’s brand essence. Visually, we explored 5 potential logos with the client and refined one. We introduced additional visual patterns and elements to add a sense of playfulness and joy to balance the stateliness and formality of the chosen logo. Tonally, we explored several different options that would guide future copy, taglines, and the general point of view of the brand. After much deliberation we chose “A new chapter for education” as the grounding tagline for the organization.

Strategically, we further developed our target audience personas and began to define how we would interact and reach them at various stages of their journey learning about and sharing with others the great work Child Aid does. The system we defined for Child Aid goes beyond surface-level changes to fundamentally shift the way the organization presents and talks about itself: confidently and as a world player in the movement to end poverty through education.

We knew this had to be bigger than a new look and feel. Child Aid needed a brand that would deliver long-term sustained value and growth. So we developed a communications playbook for social media, web, and events to help Child Aid increase recognition and following.