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Red Thread: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

When it comes to building modern brands, we believe the best are built around a core belief—what we call the Red Thread. Unearthing such a unifying idea can open new doors to a brand’s best possible future, a strategy we used to guide a new design system for America’s oldest and largest youth mentorship organization.

Research showed that Big Brothers Big Sisters of America was not connecting with younger, prospective mentors—Bigs—or adequately conveying the urgency of the organization’s mission. Rallying behind a newly-developed red thread, Together, We Are Defenders of Potential, the organization left behind its logo and prominent purple and embraced an entirely different look: new logo, new colors, new messaging, all designed with input from the Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate network, key stakeholders, and Littles.Man wearing baseball cap, portrait

Replacing the former logo (two figures holding hands) is a bold capital B, a symbol of powerful relationships: A lowercase b at the center of the mark symbolizes the Little, and the green lines that complete the capital B represent the Big, empowering the Little’s potential through mentorship.


Black, white and electric green replace the brand’s traditional purple. Full of energy and strength, the new branding is laser-focused on recruiting new Bigs—especially young adult men, whom the organization urgently needs. This color approach, along with open-license fonts, is cost-effective for more than 270 local affiliates who activate this brand nationwide. Composed of cropped areas of the logo, the pattern is reminiscent of overhead views of the communities BBBS serves. From city blocks to rural areas, everyone impacted by Big Brothers Big Sisters was purposefully represented—design from the inside out.

jennifer mazi

November 8, 2018

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