Rooted in Humanity: Our new brand
Over the past few years, the Meyer Foundation has become somewhat synonymous with change: from restating our strategy to growing our team, the Foundation has experienced a renewal of sorts. And while we’ve evolved in several ways over the years, we understand that it’s our brand that first signals who we truly are and what we prioritize. So, continuing in the same spirit of renewal and transformation that we’ve come to embrace, we thought it was time our brand evolved, too. We want every facet of the way we show up to signal the future we seek to co-create with our partners.
Our visual brand identity should consistently support who we say we are as an organization. Through our brand, our goal is to consistently echo the spirit of equity and inclusivity that comes through in our other activities. That’s why we’ve been working quietly behind the scenes to uncover more of the Meyer Foundation’s story and reflect it through an update to the brand with a new logo, website, and other visual elements, all intended to have deeper meaning connected to our roots, who we are today, and our vision for the future.
In 2018, we began a partnership with the talented team at Ghost Note, a local digital creative agency founded by three DC natives with a strong, demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion, to lead us in the development and design of our new brand and website. During the discovery phase, they surveyed several of our grantee partners and stakeholders to gain insight into their perceptions of the previous Meyer brand. We’re grateful for their honest input.
As the communications manager at the Meyer Foundation, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to (finally!) share with you our new logo, color palette, and website and the thought behind each element, signaling our deepened commitment to our communities and partners.
The new Meyer Foundation logo is the result of extensive research into the history of the Foundation, its founders, and the local community. The handcrafted, serif letter “m” is a reference to newspaper typography and is a nod to our founder’s roots in journalism — from Eugene Meyer becoming a publisher of The Washington Post in 1933, to Agnes E. Meyer’s many contributions to the field, including as an investigative journalist. The lowercase “m” is intended to communicate the Foundation as a relative and unassuming partner in advancing our mission, paying great reverence to our grantee partners who are the true changemakers. Its distressed presentation speaks to the Foundation’s 75-year existence and how the pursuit of racial justice can be hard, imperfect work, but the lasting change is certainly worth it. Finally, the vintage type of the letter “m” is juxtaposed by “Meyer Foundation” in a more contemporary font that signals our steps forward, while always being connected to our roots.
Note the name: As with our previous logo, we included only the words “Meyer Foundation.” While we used to ask that partners refer to us in written communications by our full name, the “Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation,” we’ll simply be going by the “Meyer Foundation” from this point forward.
This is the first time the Foundation will have a tagline incorporated into its brand. “Rooted in Humanity” is full of meaning, making it just right for Meyer. It’s a subtle nod to the past — Agnes E. Meyer’s 1953 autobiography is titled “Out of these Roots: The Autobiography of an American Woman.” Further, the work we support aims to identify and dismantle what we define as the root cause of many disparities in our region — systemic racism — because ultimately, our work is firmly rooted in a belief in our shared humanity. As we’ve poured ourselves into the writings and speeches of our founders — in particular, Agnes’ — we found a constant refrain of believing and investing in the humanity of all.
The Color Palette:
The primary and secondary color palettes we selected for the brand are intended to convey equity, diversity, and perhaps most importantly, action. The hues are vibrant yet matte, coming together to complement each other. We see our communities in this region in much the same way; at our best, we can all bring our unique qualities to the table in support of one another.
We chose to have a series of icons developed that will be used on a recurring basis on our website and in other collateral to easily identify our goal areas, the parts of the region where we fund, the types of systems change we support, and more.
The New Website:
When you visit us at www.meyerfoundation.org, you’ll find an entirely new website. We’ve streamlined things for a more intuitive, engaging experience that we hope our partners will find accessible, functional, and visually compelling. You may also notice a difference in the language we use around the issues we support, intended to communicate with greater clarity and in the spirit of solidarity. We’ll continue making site updates to ensure we’re offering all our partners the best experience possible. We encourage you to explore the site as it continues to develop over time for some of our new content, features, and resources. One significant change you’ll learn more about after the new year is an update to our application and grantee partner portal.
We hope you are as excited about this new era of the Meyer Foundation as we are. Our intent was to deliver a brand that further solidified our commitment to advancing equity and that was built upon the past to give our partners a better experience overall.
We got a makeover, not just because it looks good (although we do think it looks good) — every image, word, and phrase we use is a decisive choice and an important way that we live up to our mission, vision, and values. We thank you for your time and attention and look forward to sharing more, learning more, and evolving more, together.