Guest Post

Free Brand Identity and how it help communicate the communities Goal

Design to Transform is a program that seek in using local talents in transforming local communities to articulate their message online as the slogan for the program state. The event is branded hackathon  were computer programmers and others involved in software development and hardware development, including graphic designers, interface designers, content developers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software projects in helping Community Based Organizations (CBOs).

The Design to Transform hackathon designs professional websites for Community Based Organizations during a one day hackathon challenge.

The Design to Transform project has brought together individuals with different backgrounds who worked in teams to achieve the goal of the day. In the process individuals learnt various platforms to use in web design and development. This has empowered local talents to be used in transforming community through the use of technology.

Background Information

“In Kenya, many of these organizations are yet to establish an impressive digital footprint. They have not been able to catch up with what the Internet is offering as far as publicity and visibility is concerned. An online presence will boost the reach of these organizations.” As stated in design to transform Edition one report.

Back in March I came to meet this team of ambitious developers and web designers of Web4All. The individuals offered a platform were young creative offer back to the community in a “Hackathton” developing sites and creating visual identity for Community Based Organizations (CBO). At the moment the team has been able to hold five editions this being the fifth one were local talents are being used in transforming the communities. The program has been able to develop sites and brand their online platforms such as social media embedding their objectives in the digital platform. Numerous CBO have benefited from the program branded “Hackathon” as it has enabled visibility of their objectives in various demographic area. Over each edition of the program I have been able to design the publicity and brand identity materials of the program and also being a mentor on the third edition of Design 2 Transform.

The Brief

Naturally, I start my digital branding process in the usual way and get all the information I needed of the client before I begin designing. A unique layout, simple element and font type incorporating the logo concept was the direction that I went on with.

All the brand identity materials created for the program needed to be clear in communicating the aim and the message of the program. The identity had to work on various platform from print to digital media – this also being one of the principles of good digital branding.

You can see the logo concept of the program below and the publicity material at the top of this article.

D2T-07            2-08

The Concept

The concept behind the publicity and brand identity material was to portray the transformation using the number two that can be used to shape out an arrow head showing the sense of direction in transforming from initial state of having local talent to the online presence of the local communities. The arrow is a symbol of change, transformation… all traits that design to transform initiative has. The arrow concept in the publicity and brand identity material is inverted to offer the white space used in the placement of other elements such as logo, write-up and any other important information.

The Challenges

The challenge that was accompanied by the brief was trying not to lose the initial aim of the program in the communication of the transformation of local communities with the local talents. Simplicity as a principle of design had to apply in maintaining clear objective.

The Effects

The arrow element used in the publicity material  I purposely made the arrow not look too much like a number two rather, have the logo be seen as and communicate the whole message. I achieve this through the use of rectangular shape tilted to form the arrow which effectively shows that the direction/transformation.

The Text

Design 2 Ttranform Pwani Edition Poster


Another challenge was the actual amount of text that had to be included in the banner, poster and other publicity materials. To prevent other text from overcrowding and not being legible, only relevant information was to be included answering the ‘4W’. Where is the event taking place? When will it be taking place? What is expected from the event? Who are the target individuals, the sponsors? For the design to work in various media, limited text had to be used. For readability and neatness in work, the font type used were restricted to 3 at most.

To help counter the eye flow while reading the material  I used different sized text, case and shading to give hierarchy to what is to be read first.

The Color

The color green and black was chosen based by the team and the logo used in the program and the concept of the logo

Below are the final publicity and brand identity materials used on the program based on this edition.


Photos From The Program

Below you can see some photos from the Design to Transform First Edition program held in iHub.

The presentation of the developed website and digital publicity in iHub.
design2transform presentation at iHub

Team receiving guidelines from Pauline a Mentor

 design2transform team receiving guidelines from pauline

The Function Room

 design2transform first edition

Presentation of developed website and digital branding materials to the community based organization

Website presented to a community based organization

Image courtesy of Design 2 Transform: local talents transforming local communities

There are a lot more photos of the event at the links below.

The Benefits Of Giving

As you can see, by offering your services for free you can get a lot of exposure for your work along with benefiting the community as a whole.

What are you offering for free?

About the Writer: Paul Simiyu

The freelance graphic designer behind Simpaul Design is myself, Paul Simiyu, and I offer the highest quality in service, customer support and for the best value for money. Don’t just take my word for it, read some of my client testimonials or check out our portfolio.