our brand story

deepening our mission with a brand identity that puts humans first

Civilla’s brand identity is rooted in our mission and vision. Civilla is and always has been a non-profit design studio dedicated to changing the way our public-serving institutions work. We believe these institutions are the best and fastest way to scale change in society. Our team works closely with leaders to design services that are more compassionate, more effective, and less expensive to operate – in other words, services that work better for people. That will never change.

At the same time, Civilla’s distinct approach to design is human-centered, adaptive, and full of joy — we felt our brand should reflect that.

To bring it to life, we partnered with the talented folks at the design office Order. Together, we developed an identity that honors the purpose and the spirit of the organization.

Here’s the story of our brand identity, and how we’re using where we’ve been to inform where we’re going next.

putting humans first

Human-to-human connection is the foundation of our work. It’s the way we help our partner institutions create significant change and lasting impact. We’ve always been rooted in human-centered design: in creating solutions that fit people’s lives. Our brand identity reflects this. The structure of our logo is inspired by the DNA sequence of the human genome, the strand of life that is unique to each one of us. We also put humans first with our use of photography, celebrating our team, partners, residents, frontline staff, and community organizations—all the people who make this work possible.

shaped by our strategic intent

The proportions of our logo follow the 10-3-1-3, Civilla’s framework for setting strategic intent: 10 years, 3 years, 1 year, 3 months. We set goals across each of these timelines, enabling individuals to put their unique strengths to work towards a common vision. The 10-3-1-3 framework creates a shared purpose for our team and ensures our long-term visions are connected to short-term actions.

a vibrant family of colors

Our identity represents a full spectrum of colors that convey the optimism that underpins all of our work. These colors echo one of our core values: remaining open to the immense potential of our institutions to do good.

embracing variability

Variability is a core part of the Civilla identity. Our brand identity has been designed to allow the team to create their own unique logo combinations using the brand colors. With more than 10,000 possible variations, it celebrates diversity and encourages flexibility and creativity. This system reflects the important role that individuals play in civil society – when you look at change initiatives around the globe, they are always rooted in individual action.

playful type

Civilla’s primary typeface is Degular, designed by OHNO Type Foundry. Degular was chosen as a functional yet unorthodox font that represents the playful and kinda quirky spirit of Civilla. Lowercase headings and tight spacing are a nod to our previous logo and keep the ‘community’ of letters close together. Down to our type, we acknowledge that nothing big in the world has ever been done alone. Change is always supported by a collective.

a visual system

Beyond the logo itself, Civilla’s brand identity is made up of several elements – fonts, color, graphic elements, images – all coordinated to enable creative adaptation and implementation.

Most importantly, Civilla’s brand identity keeps us rooted in the organization’s mission and vision–reminding us that by putting people first, it is possible to change the way our public-serving institutions work and create a more beautiful civil society for all.