For 15 years, A+ Schools had been a valued, data-driven watchdog, spotlighting and measuring inequity in outcomes across Pittsburgh’s public school system, as well as a powerful community-centered voice for reform. Yet A+’s leadership suspected the time had come for the organization to add greater value by taking on a new role: rather than analyzing data to identify and organize around problems, A+ could work with community to identify challenges and co-create holistic solutions together.
A+ Schools engaged Mighty Good to help explore how the A+ brand might evolve along with the focus of its work.
Stakeholder research validated that education leaders from across the Pittsburgh community were ready for change in the education landscape. Donors were craving more holistic approaches, school leaders and educators were fatigued with top-down mandates, and Black and Brown community leaders expressed growing frustration with their perspectives being overlooked, and with negative depictions of their schools and communities. The mandate was clear: to reduce Pittsburgh’s educational equity gap, it was time to radically widen participation in change. A+ pursuing a new role working in partnership with communities to identify and innovate around problems would be welcomed, but A+ would need a new identity under which to do so: +Us.
The +Us visual identity system is designed to celebrate the community of diverse voices that come together through +Us. To that end, the style is deliberately organic and colorful, composed of distinct shapes representing Pittsburgh’s different neighborhoods, communities, and cultures, as well as the intrinsic power and potential of each. In the +Us visual identity system, as in the organization’s work, these pieces come together to create a city that is vibrant and hopeful. One that Pittsburgh community members can all be part of. And proud of.
+Us launched in March 2021, offering space and resources for a community, who like so many others, had spent the past year grappling with educational repercussions of COVID-19 and were eager to look towards the future.
Mighty Good took great care to deeply understand the dynamics of our organization and its position in the community landscape. Nicole, Aimee, and John became part of our team as we developed the brand. They listened deeply, provided exceptional feedback, and created something beautiful that captured our hopes for the future of the organization. I'm so grateful we were able to work together to help us launch a new phase of our work for Pittsburgh's children.
-- James Fogarty, Executive Director, +Us