Work

Osborne Association

Celebrating depth and dignity in Osborne’s century-long commitment to comprehensive services for incarcerated people and their families

Brand Strategy, Visual Identity, Content Strategy, Organizational Website
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Background

Since 1933, Osborne has been dedicated to supporting people involved in the criminal legal system, as well as their families and loved ones. The New York-based nonprofit provides comprehensive services to people during and after their period of incarceration, guided by a commitment to dignity and belief in people’s capacity to change.

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The challenge

Nearly 90 years later, and after a critical time for equity and justice reform, the organization was ready to open new doors. With the organization’s long history and multifaceted support system, its array of services had become difficult to parse. The website’s documentation was muddled and ultimately inaccessible to the people they serve. Unique programs had matured into distinct identities and needed commensurate digital real estate to reflect their focus and impact.

Original Osborne Association branding and website.

The opportunity

How could we bring greater clarity to the breadth and depth of Osborne’s work? How could we build trust with their audiences and convey the significance of their generation-spanning commitment to meaningful, multi-faceted carceral support?

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Stepping into a new chapter

Osborne has long used an open door as a metaphor for their work, and as their primary mark. But subtle details in the legacy logo undermined the intended message. The door appeared far away, with the viewer positioned below the door and the path to the door longer than the door itself. The new mark places the door at the viewer’s level, available and ready to be moved through. Its symmetry echoes the organization’s dual support structure and wraparound services, both during and after incarceration.

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Leading with language

Given the organization’s emphasis on providing and sharing knowledge, pages lead with clear, authentic, and bold hero statements. The editorial feel, along with a buttoned-up type choice reflects the history and augustness of the organization and establishes trust with readers.

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Colors convey richness and gravity

We evolved the brand’s signature purple, deepening its hue and pairing it with vibrant golds and blues to create an enveloping and immersive color palette. With the website’s depth of content, its inviting colors encourage exploration.

Architectural elements are built in

Select modules have a chiseled edge or other features of physical construction, echoing masonry and rooflines.

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Illustrating experience

Artist Kingsley Nebechi was commissioned to bring vibrancy and life without dismissing the gravity of the content. Nebechi’s illustrations celebrate the idea of the transition out of incarceration, emphasizing the connection between incarcerated and non-incarcerated people. His work reflects the challenge of nurturing these relationships without systemic support.

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Project Credits

Client
  • Osborne Association
Year of Completion
  • 2021
Focus
  • For Organizations
Services
  • Brand Strategy
  • Visual Identity
  • Content Strategy
  • Organizational Website
Project Team
Collaborators
  • Kingsley Nebechi
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