The Greater Chicago Food Depository is one of the most well-known and best-respected organizations among Chicago nonprofits. But even with its high brand equity, members of the Food Depository team recognized that the identity and messaging of the brand needed a refresh. They even had doubts about the organization’s name. And with an ambitious strategic plan on the horizon, the Food Depository would need an evolved brand identity to best support the full scope of its mission—to not just provide meals to the hungry but end hunger in our community.


Our work with the Food Depository began with familiarizing ourselves with the brand. We started by reviewing existing materials, including research reports, fundraising efforts and advertising collateral. We then conducted nearly two dozen intake sessions with key stakeholders to better understand the organization’s current brand challenges and opportunities. To gain further insight into these areas, we performed quantitative research in partnership with our sister agency, QNA, and conducted a discovery workshop to gather qualitative insights. Finally, to see in person how the Greater Chicago Food Depository works on a daily basis, we volunteered and attended organization events.

Nourish, custom-designed typeface


We first had to solve the thorny issue of a potential renaming. While both our audit and research indicated that the name ‘Greater Chicago Food Depository’ is cumbersome for some stakeholders, 88 and QNA concluded that most audience members have affinity for the name, and recommended retaining it. And though the Food Depository had been eager to change the name, 88 recommended they retain the Greater Chicago Food Depository name. The Food Depository respected this analysis, which was based in objective research, and heartily approved the recommendation.

From there, we created a new Greater Chicago Food Depository logo that captures the organization’s energy and the reverberation of its efforts out into the communities it serves. It updates the brand’s iconic green, an element that had accumulated equity over decades, and so would remain in place. The mark is vibrant, organic and friendly—and validated by research. We even created a proprietary typeface, Nourish, to pair with the new logo mark.

Along with the visual identity, we developed a suite of messaging that conveys exactly what the Food Depository does; the scope and scale of the challenge and their efforts to meet it; and the outcomes and impacts that follow. These messaging points can be adapted to speak to any one of the Food Depository’s audiences, enabling the organization to better express the entirety of their mission to the greater Chicago area.

We’re working with the Food Depository to bring the evolved brand to life in a number of ways. We started by educating the Food Depository’s internal stakeholders on the new strategic messaging and refreshed brand identity. We 
then began a public-facing campaign teasing the evolved brand to the public, accompanied by a full-on announcement soon after. Following this were a set of tactics that will bring the evolved Greater Chicago Food Depository brand to life across the city. This included CTA station takeovers, renewed fundraising efforts, a range of tactical executions and more. We are glad that our partnership with this venerable organization continues, and are proud to be working together to build a greater Chicago.