AFC’s new logo and brand identity center race equity and bold design

April 27, 2020

John Peller with new logoAfter a year of research and development, AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) is proud to launch its new brand and identity. In early 2019, AFC engaged People Who Care, a Chicago-based consultancy comprised of all Black, LGBTQ+ identified designers, strategists and directors, to lead the rebranding effort. AFC and People Who Care consulted with a wide array of stakeholders, including nonprofit partners, community members, Board members, staff and advocates through focus groups, interviews and surveys. This process engaged the community in a meaningful way and ultimately inspired AFC’s new brand direction.

“From start to finish, we at People Who Care (PWC) worked hard to capture the feelings, needs, and dreams of AFC’s core community. Instead of focusing primarily on the future, we allowed the organization’s legacy to guide our design process. We wanted to develop an identity that was accessible, brave and pioneering,” said Elijah McKinnon, Creative Director at People Who Care.

Surveys and focus groups revealed a strong affection and belief in AFC’s work and drove PWC to a concept that would balance the strong legacy and bold future of the organization. Upon concepting the new direction, AFC and PWC brought together a diverse group of stakeholders in a branding taskforce that ultimately led to the new design.

AFC initially revealed the new logo to its community at its Annual Meeting on March 5, 2020, but then put a full rollout on hold as the organization transitioned to remote work and providing new and continued services to help those impacted by the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We’re at a turning point – we now know that we can end the HIV epidemic in Illinois in ten years,” said John Peller, AFC President/CEO, at the Annual Meeting. “We needed a new look that better reflects who we are today. The new identity’s foundation is the imperfect circle. We’re embracing the beauty of imperfection through this circle. Imperfection is humanity – it’s our greatest strength. Perfectionism is unachievable and drives discontentment. It is a product of white supremacy culture, which must be dismantled before we can truly embrace racial equity and achieve our mission. AFC represents the coming together of people – this process is imperfect; all people are imperfect; this is where our power lies.”

“We knew from the beginning for our new brand to truly advance AFC’s mission that the communities most impacted by HIV, Black and Latino/Latinx communities, must be leading and centered throughout the rebranding process. Having the leadership of People Who Care, an all-Black LGBTQ+ owned and operated agency, was pivotal,” said Edward Wagner, AFC’s Chief Officer of External Relations.

You can find the logo and branding elements here.

About AFC:

AFC mobilizes communities to create equity and justice for people living with and vulnerable to HIV or chronic conditions. AFC aspires to create a world in which people living with HIV or chronic conditions will thrive, and there will be no new HIV cases. More at:

About People Who Care, Inc.

People Who Care is the Chicago-based consultancy and creative studio of Elijah McKinnon. Specializing in campaign development & management, brand strategy & identity and cultural productions exclusively for non-profits and grassroots initiatives, People Who Care has over 5 years of experience creating internationally recognized initiatives fueled by compassion, community and care.

Categorized under AFC news.

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