Resolve Philly

How We Tell The Story Matters

Resolve Philly is a growing journalism organization with several initiatives working to improve how the media covers communities that are often misrepresented. While they work tirelessly to get stories right, their own brand story needed some attention. They came to Message Agency to develop their organization identity so that audiences could more easily understand who they are, what they do, why they do it, and the impact they’re making.

Logo composition of the Resolve Philly visual identity

The Challenge

Resolve Philly was a difficult organization to typify.  A non-profit startup developed to address how historically misrepresented communities are not appropriately covered by the media, they engage in projects to help rethink journalism—who does the reporting, what gets reported and why, and how stories are conceived and framed. Not a traditional nonprofit, they are a lean organization with a distinct perspective that serves as the common thread connecting the series of projects they establish to effect change. 

The Solution

Resolve Philly asked Message Agency to help define and develop their new organization’s identity—primarily as a “house of brands” that allows individual initiatives to maintain their own identities under the broader umbrella of their organization’s aegis.  Their organization serves as an incubator for projects, exploring innovative solutions, piloting them with our partners, and testing the efficacy and impact of new ideas and approaches.  They intentionally focused on promoting our programs and have neglected to intentionally establish a comprehensive brand. We needed to develop an identity for their parent brand that served as the thread connecting their various initiatives, which often were more recognized than their organization.

As a house of brands, their audiences also did not always understand who they are or what they do. In making their mission and impact clear, they also needed to build trust and increase engagement with community members and institutional partners. We chose to emphasize how their work is rooted in activism, equity, and community.  Resolve Philly intentionally embodies their values in everything they do; they practice the change they seek in the industry in how they operate their organization.  Their brand story needed to articulate the value of how—and why—their organization operates, not just what they do. 

Their slogan and messaging represent this approach.  “How we tell the story matters” is a slogan that focuses on the power—and responsibility—that journalists have in covering misrepresented communities and ensuring that the voices of community members inform their process.  Their key messages explore, in straightforward language, the sophisticated and innovative thinking that governs how they operate:  “How we evolved matters.  How we define impact matters.  How we live our values matters.”

As a basis for their visual identity, we chose to focus on their role as an “Amplifier.”  Resolve Philly uses their position of leverage to call attention to the issues being overlooked or misrepresented within underrepresented communities.  They provide a means of amplifying the voices of community members, ensuring their perspectives are not only heard but respected.  They also highlight important issues by bringing multiple perspectives to bear at the same time on a single story or community.  Their mark combines a symbol that represents media, emanation, and transmission; it is also reminiscent of a target to evoke strategy and a singular goal.  Negative space creates a feeling of movement and revolution, as though the mark was actively amplifying a message.  Their color palette and typography were chosen to evoke energy, vibrancy, and freshness.

Collage of visual identity system for Resolve Philly