• Post category:Communications
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United by a shared belief in the promise and potential of each and every child in Oregon, we [The Metropolitan Group] partnered with the Our Children Oregon team to develop a brand that reflected the merger between Children First for Oregon and Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon. It was clear immediately that our values and vision for transformative change were sympatico. We are proud to have co-created the Our Children Oregon brand with staff, board and a host of their partners. 

Metropolitan Group is a full service social change agency that crafts and integrates creative and strategic services. We help our clients, focused on a spectrum of issues, with strategic communication, intercultural engagement, and organizational strategy and innovation.  

In January 2020 we began work with the Our Children Oregon staff and board to map what we call the social purpose branding 3V’s: Value, Values and Voice for the organization. We believe that creating and advancing a social purpose brand occurs at three different levels: defining it, expressing it and living it. Through an interactive session we worked with staff and board to build consensus on a refreshed slate of values to reflect the merger and the new vision for the organization. 

R-L: Chris Coughlin, OCO Policy, Advocacy and Engagement Director; Margaret Salazar, Executive Director at Oregon Housing and Community Services Department; Rebecca Jones Gaston, Child Welfare Director; Jenifer Wagley, OCO Executive Director; Drew Henrie-McWilliams, Executive Director at Morrison Family Services and OCO Board Member; and Kristine Phillips Evertz, Director of State Government Affairs at Summit Strategies and OCO Board Member

With values as a foundation we began to consider the expression of the brand. While taglines are not essential to a brand, they can help clarify a mission or tell a more inclusive story about an organization whose work is multi-faceted. With Our Children Oregon, we wanted to make sure that the organizational values rooted in equity, inclusion and collaboration, and the organizational mindset of possibility and transformation were strongly conveyed. With this in mind the team selected: Voices United: Opportunity Reimagined as its tagline. 

Building off the organization’s value, value and voice (3V’s) and tagline we considered the expression of the brand in visual terms. In addition to idea generation sessions with the Our Children Oregon staff we engaged the board and sought input from key stakeholders and coalition partners.  In an interactive session we engaged partners identifying colors, symbols and other aspects of visual representation that reflected the essence of the organization.  

Symbols selected by partners were hopeful, reflected collaboration and signaled inclusion. The colors that kept coming up were bright, vibrant and reflective of the rainbow; a nod at both the youth focused nature of the organization and its inclusive, collaborative spirit. With critical insight from staff and core partners in hand, we created a visual identity, color palette and a look and feel for the brand that reflected the spirit, aspirations and personality of the organization. 

The Visual Concept:

When Metropolitan Group’s design studio presented initial concepts, the theme that resonated most and ultimately became the  logo, is based on the theme: collaboration.

Collaboration as the theme: 

  • Collaboration is visually articulated in the typography of “Oregon” through transparent, overlapping colors in the letterforms. Each letter is as colorful as the people and organizations throughout Oregon. The intersections where this occurs represents the multiple voices throughout the region. Our Children Oregon unites these voices to create a vision into a cohesive whole. 

Typographic roots in activism:

  • “Oregon” is typeset in the font “Gilbert Sans.” The typeface is named after Gilbert Baker, the LGBTQ activist and artist who created the rainbow flag, to express “our  joy, our beauty and our power.” 

Colors of Oregon: 

  • Colors in the core color palette are inspired and named after the colors in the state, such as “Doug Fir Green”, “Painted Hills Red” and “Alpenglow Magenta.”

We believe that our future as a state depends on the creativity and contributions of all of our children, and we are honored to have been partners with Our Children Oregon on this journey.

Metropolitan Group