The National Coalition Against Censorship is an NGO promoting freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression, formed in 1973 in response to narrowed First Amendment protections and increased prosecutions. Almost 50 years later, through a network of over 50 national nonprofits, they act as first responders, clarifying controversy with open dialogue and activism. We created a new visual identity by channeling the boldness of their mission.
We met some of the coalition’s members as neighbors at our old office, sharing elevator greetings and an appreciation for afternoon playlists at moderate volumes. Our studio became fascinated with the humble fortitude of their work, and through a shared interest in social impact, the opportunity arose to help them rebrand before their annual fundraising benefit.
A series of discussions with the directors framed their clarity of mission and historic commitment and precisely focused our job in leading the redesign. Their purpose as we understand it is pure: the opposition of censorship. Controversy is a hotspot revealing the need for dialogue—that justifiably represents the historically marginalized. NCAC facilitates such dialogues at crucial moments. Signal it loud and clear: Anti-censorship. Reveal rather than restrict. Always portray the importance of context.
By reclaiming an icon of suppression, we produced an identity system uniting their programs, resources, and communications to heighten awareness and dialogue. A series of campaign and marketing tools guides a burst of community engagement since the launch at their November 2019 Gala. Comedian and host of the event, Michael Ian Black, gave a special shout-out to the new identity with some apt punk rock references which were well-received by our team.
Anne Di Lillo
John Paul Chirdon