Smith Davidson Leadership Initiative Branding

Smith David­son Lead­er­ship Ini­tia­tive (SDLI) recruits, selects and teach­es John­son C. Smith Uni­ver­si­ty and David­son Col­lege stu­dents how to become lead­ers who make a dis­pro­por­tion­ate impact in the life of a city.  The pro­gram uses Char­lotte, NC as train­ing grounds to teach stu­dents about chal­lenges that all cities face.

After sev­er­al failed attempts to work with a design­er that was­n’t cap­tur­ing their brand essence, Dr. Ewoodzie reached out to NCD to devel­op their brand iden­ti­ty. We devel­oped an inten­tion­al brand iden­ti­ty that reflect­ed, ampli­fied, and hon­ored the impact com­mu­ni­ties of col­or can cre­ate in their cities. Our goal was­n’t to cre­ate a gener­ic brand — we devel­oped a brand that cel­e­brat­ed cul­tur­al iden­ti­ties and har­nessed the pow­er of col­or psy­chol­o­gy to ampli­fy their com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pro­gram direc­tives. Dr. Ewoodzie expressed want­i­ng to devel­op a brand iden­ti­ty inspired by his Ghanan her­itage — specif­i­cal­ly the Adinkra sym­bols. We took the core con­cept of Adinkra sym­bols and devel­oped a mark that incor­po­rates the pro­gram’s ini­tials. Then, we fur­ther refined the mark by devel­op­ing a pat­tern that when flipped around it became a styl­ized sym­bol of the men and women in the pro­gram. SDLI is more than a brand, it’s an expe­ri­ence whose mis­sion is about the peo­ple for the peo­ple — bring­ing human­i­ty and change for com­mu­ni­ties of col­or across our nation.

Brand­mark System
Col­or Psychology
Pat­tern Designs
Tshirt Design
Cre­ative Direction

Dr. Ewoodzie, David­son Col­lege and John­son C. Smith University