United by Black is an initiative to address racial inequities in the Twin Cities region in a new and transformational way. The alliance uses an approach called Black-Centered Design to ensure that solutions for the Black community are created by the Black community.

The efforts are comprehensive with a focus on eight key areas essential to achieving racial justice and equity:

  1. public safety
  2. shared responsibility
  3. infrastructure investments
  4. employment
  5. education
  6. healthcare
  7. housing
  8. advocacy


United by Black needed strong branding that maximizes their influence and impact. We wanted to help differentiate by cultivating a strong brand voice that was both authentic and stood out from the crowd. Another challenge we faced was that branding for mission-based organizations almost always requires elements of design that needs to bring an emotional impact. This is why we decided to develop the brand identity in close collaboration with key stakeholders.

Our goal was to use design to connect black leaders to the broader black Minneapolis community. Our focal point was creating a bold and memorable logo that is simplistic enough to make it clear what the organization stands for, while also highlighting why it matters with a powerful brand positioning that vividly expresses the mission, beliefs, and values.


Branding helps businesses gain name recognition and boosts their reputation. The visual identity we developed for United by Black does exactly that, with a custom logo, color palette, and typography. We incorporated design elements that depict professionalism and trustworthiness and applied these elements across all representations of the brand.

The brandmark is a clear visual reference to being united or joined as a whole, a tribute to the core mission of the alliance. The result is a monogram logo, that symbolizes togetherness and growth. The bold logotype balances and grounds the design, appearing as a reliable foundation anchoring the brand mark. United by Black’s custom logo appears on all brand assets, from business cards to the website and marketing collateral ensuring that all communication touchpoints with stakeholders have the same consistent and recognizable messaging.

Selecting the right color scheme and typography

Brands need to develop memorable, positive connections with their audience, and the right color palette is an essential step for achieving this. Psychological studies show color influences emotion and mindset, and ultimately community trust. Our color scheme for United by Black uses red clay and black as the main colors, establishing a tone of warm professionalism with an element of Africa at the roots. The effect is bold while being balanced. We intentionally used tones that recall not only the sun and the soil but also natural pigments deriving from local trees and plants.


➜ Naming
➜ Stakeholder interviews
➜ Conducted competitive research
➜ Logo design