About the Fellows
The Chattanooga Fellows are a group of recent college graduates that take one year after graduating to explore how their Christian faith and their new lives as young professionals interact. They do that through placements in companies that have aligned themselves with the Fellows, studying Scripture, and engaging with the community.
As a Christian myself, I’m deeply interested in their mission. I’ve also had the opportunity to speak at one of their lunch-and-learns for two years in a row about my experience as a DREAMer. All that to say, when Jonathan reached out about their branding, I was thrilled to help.
The Creative Brief
Jonathan let me know that he really liked their current logo design - a wordmark in a lovely serif typeface called Cheltenham. But, the wordmark is quite simple and he wanted to develop a seal design that had a little more presence he could use in marketing. He specifically mentioned needing to use the seal on swag, on promotional materials, and on social media.
Brand Consistency Through Color
In our discovery meeting, I made three proposals. The first was to define a color palette (the wordmark was set in black on a white background). Consistently using brand colors is a great way to help people recognize your brand.
For the Fellows, Jonathan wanted the brand to feel serious and professional. College grads are ready to mature to the next level of their adult lives. He wanted the Fellows’ brand to match their aspirations. We settled on trying a gold and navy palette, a classic combo that hints at professionalism and tradition.
The second proposal I made was to develop a monogram. Chattanooga is a long word and becomes tough to read as it gets scaled down. That’s particularly true on social media where profile pics are smaller than a penny.
The last proposal I made was to incorporate the slogan into the seal. The Fellows have a holistic mission that attempts to tap each part of a person’s life. It seemed appropriate to reflect that in the seal.
Find your vocation. Commit to community. Explore your faith. Practice civic responsibility.
The only problem was that the slogan is made of four different statements, making it a bit long. To address that, we talked about having a “responsive” seal that would employ the entire slogan at large sizes and scale down to just four keywords at smaller sizes.
Leaving the discovery meeting, my goal was to create 2 or 3 variations for Jonathan to look at. But, as I worked on the variations, I had the idea of presenting him with a “seal system.” Instead of selecting one of the variations and archiving the others, he could have all of them at his disposal. Ideally, there would be one seal that was the primary logo. But, he could use the others when the situation called for it.
The Primary Seal
The main seal has the “CF” monogram at its center encircled by the keywords of the Fellows’ slogan. It also has the original logo below the seal to make sure anyone who is not familiar with Fellows can learn their name.
The Social Seal
Simplified to its most basic form, the social seal is ideal for social media profile pics, favicons, and any other environments that are really small.
The Alternate Seal
I wanted to give Jonathan an alternate seal design that incorporated the name and the slogan as a secondary element with the monogram as the primary element. This seal could be used in a more supportive situation where the wordmark was already present elsewhere.
The Expanded Seal
Last, I wanted to provide Jonathan with a seal that incorporated the slogan in its entirety. It could only be used in large sizes, since the smaller text would be illegible if it were scaled down. But, this seal would be ideal for communicating the Fellows’ mission more powerfully.
One of the best compliments I got on this project came from a fellow designer, Kody, who designed the original wordmark for the Chattanooga Fellows: "This is exactly what the brand needed. Way to bring good things to life.”
I’m so glad I was able to partner with Jonathan to equip him with the visual tools he needs to spread the word about the Chattanooga Fellows.