Equality Chamber of Commerce
A branding solution for the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s new concept; The Equality Chamber of Commerce
The Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CAGLCC, or just “the Chamber”) is the non-profit, not-partisan network of several hundred queer and allied (Q&A) businesses and business leaders in the DC metropolitan area. Through its extended network of community partners and event participants in the capital area LGBT community, it regularly reaches approximately 5,000 individuals through is messaging, networking events, and workshops.
A new logo for a new era
When a client decides to do a total rebrand, from name, to mission to logo, the scope of the change can be daunting. The Equality Chamber of DC came to us with a lot of information on the direction of the organization away from its existing brand towards a new focus, but they had more ideas on what they didn’t want than what they wanted to see in a new logo. The challenge to create a new logo that fit the new brand was an exciting opportunity for us.
Up until 2019, the Equality Chamber had the unwieldy name “The Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce,” which was ‘shortened’ to the alphabet soup of CAGLCC. The board decided to change the name for a number of reasons. First, the name was too long, and its acronym wasn’t much better. Second, as an LGBTQIA organization, the board felt that the message of inclusivity was lost by the limited reference to “Gay and Lesbian” in the title. Finally, the board selected the term “Equality” to truly emphasize the inclusivity it thought was getting lost in the old brand.
Sometimes clients come to designers with a vision or an idea of the possible new logo. In this case, the Chamber’s board simply wanted the logo to be reflective of the new brand, and offered us free rein to come up with some concepts. This is both a great opportunity and a challenge for a design firm, since the lack of direction means more opportunity for creativity but greater chances of missing the mark on the esthetic the client is looking to achieve.
With the brand messaging as a starting point, we began with the term “Equality.” We explored various iterations of the term, but the most organic was the “=” sign, so this became the anchor for the logo.
Since inclusivity drove the rebrand, to build on the central image, we wanted to make sure to use the traditional rainbow flag colors – the universal symbol for the LGBTQIA community. Contemporary versions of the flag sometimes include additional colors, but the variations are not standard, so it was decided by vote to keep to the original six colors: Blue, red, purple, yellow, green and orange.
We integrated the colors into the logo with an additional reference to the new name of the organization. By surrounding the “=” sign with two half circles, we created a round sense of continuity while incorporating two “C”s into the logo for “Chamber of Commerce.” The order of the colors separated lighter from darker colors to highlight the two separate figures – the forwards and backwards “C”s. The finished stand-alone logo is a simple yet elegant incorporation of the many themes driving the new brand direction of the organization.
The client was pleased with the final renderings of the logo, and their president stated that W Street “helped us ultimately land on a design that sees a broadly positive reception from our members and the wider LGBTQ community. As the Chamber’s president, I appreciate that he gave us a logo and set of design standards that we are proud of, and I show off the work as much as I can.”