Design for Good(will)

A former creative director of the Target retail chain is leading a rebrand of the San Francsico area Goodwill, the US social enterprise organisation which helps people back into work

A former creative director of the Target retail chain is leading a rebrand of the San Francsico area Goodwill, the US social enterprise organisation which helps people back into work

Tim Murray was creative director at the Creative Vision Group at Target, but joined Goodwill in San Francisco in July 2011. “After many years convincing people to consume more stuff, I felt a need to address the environmental impact of my actions as a marketer,” he says of the decision. “By providing a second or third use for stylish stuff, Goodwill is one of the reasons the San Francisco Bay Area is one of America’s greenest and least wasteful regions.”

There are over 165 Goodwill chapters across North America, each operating semi-autonomously and most concentrating on running programmes which help the needy into work. Murray enlisted the help of illustrator and designer Craig Frazier to spruce up the San Francisco area chapter. “Its brand strategy and look had worn thin. It deserved design as iconic as Target’s, and that required strong creative partners,” Murray says. “In a year, we’ve repositioned and started re-skinning the brand from fleet to stores to site.”

“The big “G” logo, with its references to the recycling logo and its suggestion of personal uplift, was first developed around 2003,” Murray says. “I thought it was pretty genius. One of my first decisions upon arriving at Goodwill was to keep it, improve it, and use it big. (I came from Target, home of the bullseye. ‘nuf said.)”

Here’s the current Goodwill SF website

“A logo does not a brand make, so we set out to rebuild everything around it,” Muray says. “We started by establishing a new brand position – See the Good and Grow It – from which we could develop a new brand expression and related advertising.”

Goodwill operates a fleet of lorries which collect unwanted items from householders for resale in its shops. Those lorries used to look like this.

But now feature Frazier’s illustrations


In-store, the somewhat dowdy previous look

has been updated with Frazier’s illustrations and strong use of the logo.



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  • Good Grows is a nice simple line, but i’m struggling to feel much ‘good will’ for those truck sides…

  • Lovely work and reminiscent of working on destination marketing accounts over the years – one of the hardest to crack creatively!

  • Joan Siebers

    Why shouldn’t recycling applys to design too? Looks like Target. More of a departure would have been better.

  • Rebecca Z

    The new Goodwill “G” looks like the refresh button in Firefox and the illustrations are an unsuccessful attempt at Target. I don’t think Goodwill should look like Target. Just because Target is good doesn’t mean other businesses should look the same. Every business is different, make it look that way!

  • jeremy

    Is this a different organization than this Goodwill?
    Or do they have regional offices that are allowed to do their own marketing and branding?

  • Kim

    I echo Jeremy’s comment/question. The Goodwill logo I know is the smiling half face that also forms a lower case g. I thought that was the org’s national logo symbol.

  • Tim

    There are 165+ Goodwill chapters, mostly in North America, that form a loose confederation. A chapter springs up in response to a community need – say, job training services for the physically challenged – and as a result develops unique programs and services. Each chapter operates its own balance sheet, is forbidden to compete outside of its trade area, and is obligated to share best practices with other chapters. Although many chapters have stuck with the smiley “g” logo developed in the 1970s, Goodwill of San Francisco, San Mateo & Marin Counties struck out on its own in 2003 with a big “G” that referenced the recycling logo and the personal uplift experienced by people who use our services. (People using SFGoodwill services often are coming out of prison, in recovery from addiction, or lives spent living on the streets. Our services and community partnerships are considered highly innovative.) Like all Goodwill chapters, SFGoodwill develops its own locally relevant marketing, too. Our current Halloween campaign, for instance, is called Happy Bike-oween, and it features people in costumes on bikes – a perfect San Francisco mash-up!

  • Anna

    The arrowed G looks clumsy to me. As for the truck graphics, the concept is there but falls over on execution. I had to squint to read the word that overlays the illustration on most of them.