Posted February 11, 2019

New brand architecture and identity for JCFS Chicago

When Jewish Child & Family Services approached Jell in 2016, the organization had already been active in and around Chicago for nearly 160 years in various forms. In that time, the social service agency had grown to encompass an almost bewildering array of programs and services, including integrated pediatric therapies, support for foster families, a safe space for teens, career and employment guidance for adults, and a therapeutic summer camp for youth with social challenges. 

With so many diverse offerings, the JCFS leadership team yearned for a stronger, more coherent brand architecture and the tools to reach a wider audience of prospective supporters. Their official name—Jewish Child & Family Services—appealed strongly to their core base of supporters but did not clearly portray the agency’s commitment to serve anyone in the Chicagoland area facing overwhelming challenges, regardless of age, religion, or race. The goal of the rebranding was to clarify the agency’s scope and impact, broaden their appeal, strengthen their communications, and streamline their brand standards.

We embarked on a comprehensive brand audit, including an extensive qualitative research study. Jell conducted an online survey of both current and prospective supporters as well as a series of workshops and one-on-one phone interviews, then provided recommendations to the board.

The agency has been renamed “JCFS Chicago” to better depict its broad and inclusive mission. The new brand architecture reinforces JCFS’s position as a strong parent brand with a clear mission while celebrating the contributions and strategic value of each of the numerous programs within its family of services.

The agency’s bold new logo features a multi-color Star of David, representing the diversity of its services and clients, with the Chicago star at its center, representing its sense of community and geographical scope.

We also developed logos and identity systems for eight of their most prominent services in recognition of their existing brand equity. Finally, we created a system of brand guides for visual and communications standards for both the parent brand and the endorsed brands to help unify the efforts of marketing staff and program leaders.

The new brand architecture and standards lay a strong foundation for the organization to move forward with greater clarity and confidence. The JCFS Chicago leadership team has moved quickly to roll out the new branding with pride.