Rebranding The Matrix

(Not Keanu-related)

Brand Identity, Logo Design and Graphics.

The Matrix is an in-print and online social justice magazine that had been understaffed and under-appreciated over the years at PLU. So much so that it had fallen under completely the year before.

 

Entering as the Art Director and Co-editor, I was tasked with redesigning the logo, creating a brand guide, making posters and web graphics.

Problem

How do we design an identity that works to engage with social justice concepts beyond a surface level?

 

As co-editor and art director at The Matrix, a social justice magazine at PLU, we knew that we needed to platform new and underrepresented perspectives.  

However, even the most well-intentioned can put up walls to retain their own thoughts without considering more nuanced positions.

Solution

Start with simplicity.

Make a brand that focuses on 

small measurable actions, and on changing the system from the inside out.

 

As a social justice organization it's easy to get caught up in the weeds and to end up accomplishing relatively little. Therefore we wanted our identity to be decisive, actionable and simple. We made our primary colors black and white to emphasize this simplicity. 

Logo

Change from the inside out. 

 

More than anything we wanted to keep this logo simple. But we needed to show how a little change could make things look different. To capture the simplicity we kept the logo in black and white. To show change we had the middle literally moving from the inside out, with the edges softened to show fluidity. 

Style Guide

To further define our mission as a magazine,

I designed a 12-page branding profile and style guide. 

Web Graphics

 

 

In edition to our print magazine, The Matrix also posted articles online as often as every week. Each of these stories required a graphic banner made to accompany it.

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Result

We didn't want any gimmicks or any peacocking, working to change the system from the inside, we wanted it to feel simple.

 

The world is changed all over through seemingly small moments of decisiveness. We worked so that our magazine embodied that feeling. Both through design and through action.