Branding for social enterprise.

Branding work for a social enterprise dedicated to revolutionizing disaster relief through mobile infrastructure.

Client: Benjamin Cohen (CEO), Travis Horsley (Director of External Affairs)
Scope: Visual Branding (logo, logotype, letterhead, social media icons, email signature, etc)
The Challenge
To create a visual brand identity for a social enterprise dedicated to revolutionizing disaster relief with mobile infrastructure. 
 
TOHL is segmented into a for-profit branch, which caters to the industrial uses of mobile infrastructure, and its not-for-profit branch, which seeks to provide mobile infrastructure solutions for disaster relief. This means the company has two different audiences its brand must be able to communciate with. The challenge was to create a visual identity that spoke to both audiences.
 
Questions to Ponder
How do you create a brand that appeals to both potential corporate clients and sponsors but also to the world of NGOs? How do you look bold and inviting at the same time?
 
The Process
I asked my clients to throw out words or phrases they wanted their company to embody. It was key to ask them to envision descriptors for their company, not the brand or the logo as that would limit the scope of thinking from the beginning. Their words: bold, revolutionary, global, professional, youthful, approachable, simple. These key words served as a starting point for the initial concept mock-ups as well as the anchor point for the rest of the iterations. 
 
After much back and forth with my clients we decided on the following iteration. It was simple, and thus universal, which is something we wanted to achieve for a global brand. We continued to do iterations of it as the straight parallel lines of the tubing iconography were too rigid and resembled an energy/heating company.
The iterations below were presented to TOHL's loyal fan base and voted on through Facebook. Option 5 was one of the more popular options and we ultimately decided on it as the warp treatment in the tubing iconography softened the rigidity of the original iteration while still retaining its bold look.
The Solution
The final visual identity produced served as a bold visual marker for TOHL's subsequent global engagements at conferences, pilot countries, award ceremonies, presentations, etc. 
Check out what TOHL is up to now here. It was honestly a great pleasure to work with these guys, even if our interactions were limited to spotty Skype calls between Chile and Providence. Teams like this are the reason why I only choose to work with clients in the line of social impact work. I have a chance to learn about different models of social enterprise, hear stories of how they left their desk jobs to do something greater, and I leave the project inspired to do the same. And thanks to my high school friend, Ien Chi, for the introduction to the TOHL team. He's also an inspiring soul doing great film work. Check him out here. 
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