Ford Foundation has a long history of providing funding for social justice movements and creative expression. Today, with an endowment of billions of dollars and offices in various continents, Ford continues to provide support for innovative ideas, individuals, and institutions that strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement — all with a focus on ending inequality. Recognized that their brand identity, last updated in 2008, needed to be redefined to reflect their current values and work, the Foundation tapped branding studio Hyperakt to create a visual identity that focuses on lifting up the stories of Ford’s grantees — the visionaries on the front lines of social change.
Ford Foundation’s new logo seeks to convey a sense of dignified restraint. The wordmark strips away the UN-like trappings of the former logo and relies on the power of the organization’s name to communicate its identity. The condensed serif typeface is legible in small digital contexts as well as large physical ones; for very small uses and social media avatars, Hyperakt modified the letter ‘F’ to add balance and sturdiness by creating a monogram. The understated logo allows for Ford to extend its brand to meet the demands of different initiatives, creating a consistent brand architecture.
The color palette is drawn from the abundance of nature, adding warmth and vibrancy to the brand’s visual language and reflecting the physical world in which the work happens while the circle motif, present in the monogram and throughout the brand language, illustrates Fords theory of, and approach to, change — investing in ideas, individuals, and institutions to achieve a multiplier effect.
“The world has forever changed, and the Ford Foundation needed a visual identity that reflects this moment. Our new design system draws on the rich visual history of social justice movements, the complexity of the world we live in today, and the future we — together with our grantees — are building: a future grounded in justice and brimming with hope and opportunity,” said Victor Ng, Creative Director, Ford Foundation.