Yellow House’s Simple, Flexible, Resonant New Logo

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Yellow House’s brand identity, inspired by social movement and activism design, is as big and resonant as its mission to leverage the power of art to transform communities. More than a physical space, Yellow House is a hub for collaboration among artists, writers, organizations and communities through thought-provoking exhibitions, education, events and dialog. Yellow House explores topics as varied as racial and gender equity, universal human rights, environmental sustainability, and the untold stories of people and neighborhoods that have shaped our history. The museum’s simple icon is based on the actual slope of the Yellow House roofline. Images appear underneath, within or around the mark, which can be drawn, painted, tagged, chalked, sprayed, printed, cut or assembled—by anyone—giving the power of art to the community it serves.

Yellow House identity and collateral by Brunet-Garcia Advertisin

When Yellow House founder and director Hope McMath contacted Brunet-García about creating a visual identity for what would become Yellow House, the team strived to create a look as lyrical as the name. Although McMath had an inkling of the name for her new project, Brunet-García exhausted several possibilities before helping her ultimately choose Yellow House. Armed with the newly chosen name, the team wrote messages to frame the main attributes behind the brand. Brunet-García designed stationery, business cards, animated teasers and posters, programmed digital invitations for the debut exhibition, and created customized packages for local media.

“The turnaround for the project was about a month, including naming, tagline, logo and branding asset development,” says associate creative director Aerien Mull. “We needed to act quickly to have a cohesive brand ready to coincide with Yellow House’s first exhibition and community event. We knew we wanted a simple brand identity flexible enough to pair with a diverse range of art and photography, so the condensed timeline worked to our favor, allowing us to deliver a clear and concise brand without unnecessary complications.

“We needed a brand that could function as a museum branding, but we didn’t want to look like a museum,” Mull continues. “We also needed the brand to work as the face of a nonprofit consultant as well as a home for community action. The beauty and the challenge of the brand was its many stakeholders.

The icon is a deceptively simple shape that mimics the slope of the roofline on the Yellow House building. While Yellow House is a physical space, McMath wanted to extend that feeling of being a home to the entire community. The shape points upwards, symbolizing the forward movement of art and positive social change. The bold, modern font is inspired by the underground Art Nouveau posters of the 1920s, meant to evoke a spirit of unrest and dynamic social change.

The most challenging aspect of the technical creation was getting the letters in the word “yellow” to create a house structure. The original concept of the logo was a more playful arrangement with the letters “YEL” on top of “LOW,” but it began to read as “LOW HOUSE.” The letters are stacked on top of each other to build a house of letters underneath the roof. The playful arrangement mimics different cultural manifestations coming together to establish a cultural conversation and unique rooms and spaces inside the house.

Since implementation, artists and collaborators have begun to take ownership and viral promotion of the brand. The public also has been very enthusiastic and supportive. “I have seen dozens of Yellow a House T-shirts spread through the city,” says creative director/VP Eduardo Sarmiento. Mull says the simple mark has provided endless possibilities, down to the signage for the bathroom, keeping them motivated to find new ways to extend the brand.

Yellow House identity and collateral by Brunet-Garcia Advertisin   

TITLE Yellow House | DESIGN FIRM Brunet-Garcia Advertising, Jacksonville, FL; www.brunetgarcia.comCREATIVE TEAM Jorge Brunet-García, executive creative director; Eduardo Sarmiento, creative director; Aerien Mull, art director/designer | CLIENT Yellow House