Osborne Association

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


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.

A group of people stands together, most wearing blue shirts with yellow graphics and the words "See Us." They appear to be participating in an outdoor event or rally. The central person wears a gray jacket, white headscarf, and sunglasses. People are smiling and attentive.
A young man with short braids and a mustache is attentively listening during a discussion. He is wearing a blue sweatshirt. In the blurred background, another person is partially visible, sitting in a maroon shirt. The setting appears to be an indoor room.
A colorful poster features handprints in green, blue, orange, and purple paint, along with four polaroid pictures of kids with their dads. Each picture has handwritten notes like "I hug my dad," "I love my dad," "I dance with my dad," and "I shake my dad's hand.
A joyful family of three smiles at the camera. The mother, with braided hair, wears a patterned top. The father, in a green shirt, embraces their daughter who has beaded braids and is dressed in blue. All three look very happy.

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?

I am proud of what we and Hyperakt produced.
Elizabeth Gaynes
former President and CEO of the, Osborne Association

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.

Three copies of a booklet titled “Annual Report 2021” with a purple cover design featuring a photo of a smiling adult and child. The booklet is from Osborne, marked with a tagline: "Transforming lives, communities, and the criminal justice system.
A vibrant purple baseball cap featuring a white geometric hexagon logo on the front panel. The cap has a flat brim and a button on top, with a structured crown.
A tote bag with light blue handles and a geometric pattern featuring interlocking 3D shapes in purple and light blue. The word "Osborne" is printed in purple on the lower right side of the bag.
A bright yellow coffee mug with a purple logo and the word "Osborne" printed on one side. The handle is on the right, and the design is centered on the body of the mug. The background is white.
A purple t-shirt with the word "Osborne" written in white across the chest. To the left of the text, there is a geometric hexagon-shaped logo. The shirt is laid flat against a plain white background.

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.

Three-panel image: Left panel shows Osbourne's website recent updates. Center panel displays a happy family beneath "Transforming Lives, Communities, & the Criminal Justice System" headline and sections on approach and social ventures. Right panel shows the 2020 expenses and revenue charts.

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.

Five smartphone screens show a nonprofit's website sections, featuring an in-person visiting program, newsletter sign-up, donation prompt, volunteer info, and advocacy work. The screens display images of diverse individuals and colorful design elements, including graphics.
Image of a webpage titled "Other Ways to Give" from Osborne. It lists various options for contributing including Corporate Giving and Sponsorships, Stock Gifts, Planned Giving, Upcoming Events, Peer to Peer Fundraising, and AmazonSmile, each with a brief description.

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.

Digital artwork divided into multiple frames. One frame shows a pensive man and a woman, another features a child standing alone. The background includes a crowd silhouetted against a gradient sky and architectural columns with stairs. Bright, contrasting colors dominate.
Illustration of a child in the foreground with expressive eyes. Behind them are diverse scenes: a smiling woman, a serious man with sunglasses and hat, a police officer, an official document, a hand with "Hope" written on the palm, and a house, all against a blue background.
A webpage with three sections titled "Our Approach," "Our Services," and "Our Advocacy." Each section has colorful illustrations of people and activities. The page header has a logo and navigation links for "Our Work," "Who We Are," "Resources," "Get Involved," and "Donate.

Project Credits

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