Designing an architectural sub-brand
AIA WA's political committee gets an update
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) “advocates nationally for the value of architecture and provides architects with the resources they need to do their best work.”
AIA Washington Council (AIA WA) does the same work here in the State of Washington. And its Architects Political Committee (APC) promotes the interests and actions of architects, and facilitates relationships with lawmakers.
Chalkbox was invited to design a new sub-brand for the APC in 2023. There were a couple reasons for this. First, previous APC communications were off-brand, using some older, off-brand graphics and colors. Second, this was an opportunity to reflect a recent update to AIA’s brand standards, which would help the APC look connected and familiar to WA architects and lawmakers.
The new sub-brand would enable more effective communication with AIA WA members, helping them create a culture of fundraising for campaign support.
Design in service of design
Chalkbox has worked with AIA WA before (on its Civic Design Awards), so they knew our team and how we worked, and we were already very familiar with the overall brand system we’d be working with.
To begin, we surveyed other states’ efforts to look for any shared themes but, surprisingly, while the national AIA organization drives brand efforts across all regions, it does not dictate what each state does with its political activities. There were no shared themes, so we dove into concept exploration.
These shared elements—form, color, and typography—ensure a visual connection to the parent organization.
The finished work projects the right amount of seriousness, hints at our state’s history and endurance, and quite literally highlights architecture’s relevance to our government institutions.