United to End Homelessness: Branding and Website

United to End Homelessness

In order to create a unified communication strategy to promote permanent housing for chronically homeless individuals, Orange County United Way needed a visual identity system that would empower the organization to tell powerful stories that garner support and stir people to action. Our goal was to brand a mission, not an organization. With that in mind, we worked to develop a name and message that was clear to all audiences (particularly millennials), as well as a visual identity infused with a sense of hope—without feeling too stuffy.

To properly tell the story through a visual identity, we needed a clear understanding of the problem, solution, and audience. We scheduled in-person brainstorms with key stakeholders to better understand their campaign goals and identify the audience and message that needed to be communicated. These discussions informed our visual exploration and helped us hone in on the correct approach.

For the logo, we wanted something unique, dynamic, and representative of the region, so we created a mark to band people together around the homelessness situation in Orange County. Ultimately, we ended up with a logo made of intertwined multicolored ribbons, symbolizing the unification of all people coming together to solve the homelessness crisis in Orange County.

To further this narrative, we chose a bold color palette to represent different people, along with the simple, sophisticated typeface Proxima Nova to keep things grounded and approachable. Most importantly, to ensure that the team could apply these design tools consistently, we created comprehensive brand guidelines for any and all creators to use going forward.

Once we had that visual foundation, we needed to bring the campaign’s key messaging to life. Through an educational landing page, we outlined the key components of the campaign and included a pledge for visitors to sign to commit to the cause, providing the perfect portal to bring the community together. The result? Over a three-month period, the site generated over 1,200 sign-ups, as well as support from an overwhelming number of organizations, government officials, and others.

“Column Five was instrumental in helping us launch United to End Homelessness. The team helped guide us through the process of ascertaining what our voice and identity should be. They understood our desire to bring new life and a vision of hope for what is normally seen as one of the most complex and unsolvable problems in our society. From the first meeting with Column Five, our team knew we had made the right choice.”
—Becks Heyhoe
Manager, Housing, United to End Homelessness