Othering & Belonging Institute: Rebrand

Brand Strategy, Content Strategy, Distribution Strategy

The Client

The Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley brings together researchers, organizers, stakeholders, communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society in order to create transformative change.


Brand Guidelines, Brand Heart, Brand Messaging, Visual Identity

The Opportunity

As the organization had shifted focus and expanded their vision and mission in recent years, the Institute (formerly known as the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society) needed help rebranding. Having previously collaborated on motion graphics, an infographic, and their new social compact, we were excited to partner with them again.

The Solution

The Institute needed both a full rebranding (including a new name), as well as a rollout plan to introduce the new brand to internal and external audiences, including staff, students, campus, media, etc. To create a successful rebrand that could evolve with the Institute, we knew we needed to craft a flexible identity built around the organization’s values.

The Deliverables

  • Name
  • Visual identity (logo, color palette)
  • Brand messaging (tagline, mission, vision, messaging pillars, etc.)
  • Brand voice and tone
  • Brand guidelines
  • Persona development
  • Promotional assets (digital and physical)
  • Rollout strategy

The Execution

Focusing first on the name we started by reflecting on the organization’s goal, the core of their work, what they’re trying to achieve, and how that might be communicated simply, elegantly, and eloquently. After several iterations, the team settled on the Othering & Belonging Institute, inspired by the “Othering & Belonging” framework developed by Director john a. powell, which has guided the Institute’s work since its inception.

We took a similar approach with the logo, thinking deeply about how we might translate their work into a visual language. To communicate that concept, the logo depicts the othering and belonging framework through the use of imperfect circles. A lone red circle represents the “othering,” while the green and blue circles gently overlap each other to represent the “belonging.”

For the color palette, we used soft, earthy colors as a nod to the work the Institute is doing for all humans on planet earth. The muted tones also lend an air of sophistication, making the visual language feel grounded and centered.

To help the team communicate their brand consistently and cohesively through a variety of content, we also identified and articulated additional messaging elements, including voice, tone, tagline, mission, vision, and messaging pillars that align with the brand’s core values.

To make the brand easy to apply, we also crafted comprehensive brand guidelines, allowing their team to confidently create on-brand content across all digital and print assets. Crafting the promotional assets for the rebrand concurrently with the guidelines allowed us to provide real-life examples for content creators to emulate going forward.

The Distribution

Rebranding can be poorly received if it’s sent into the wild unceremoniously. To ensure a successful introduction, we collaborated with the team to craft a rollout strategy that would announce the rebrand, educate people about why it was undertaken, and explain the new branding. This included:

  • Print press releases
  • Digital assets for the Institute’s website, social accounts, e-newsletter, etc.
  • Physical promotional materials, including water bottles and tote bags

With a coordinated announcement, the new branding was introduced effectively and successfully to both internal and external audiences.

The Results

We’re happy to say the new branding has helped the Othering & Belonging Institute re-introduce themselves to the world with renewed focus and vigor. While it’s still new, thus far it has helped encourage meaningful conversations aligned to the organization’s purpose, increased clarity about their work, and—most importantly—equipped this outstanding group of people to effectively communicate who they are and what they do. We look forward to supporting their important mission for many years to come.

From the Client