Mother Design creates identity for community charity Brooklyn Org

The rebrand comes with a name change for the foundation and is inspired by the New York borough’s buildings and bustling community

Founded 15 years ago, the Brooklyn Community Foundation was set up to celebrate Brooklyn’s brilliance and resilience, and to be a “new model for community philanthropy”. Championing and supporting the people and businesses within the borough, the organisation felt a change was needed to achieve its ongoing vision “for a fair and just Brooklyn”.

Working with Brooklyn-based agency Mother Design, the first step towards this was a new name. The foundation now goes by Brooklyn Org, and has also launched an updated website and brand new identity.

The new design, which was created pro bono, aims to target a new generation of emerging “Brooklyn givers” and new residents. The borough receives just 7.6% of charitable funding despite being home to 30% of New York City’s population and 30% of the City’s nonprofits.

The visual direction of the identity is inspired by the density of Brooklyn and it pays homage to the “close-knit unity of the borough”. The wordmark is also a nod to Brooklyn’s neighbourhood blocks and the typography used is Community Gothic, designed by Frere-Jones type foundry.

For the colour palette, versatility and richness were key and so bold hues of red, purple and blue feature alongside more subtle shades of green and yellow. The framing device used on posters and social posts is a reference to old Brooklyn postcards, and it allows the charity to “hero Brooklyn’s people and iconic landmarks”.

Over the years the organisation has been influential in empowering social justice initiatives that benefit the local communities. The new name, identity and website are intended to connect more people with its mission to democratise philanthropy and give every Brooklynite a seat at the table.