AsylumWorks—formerly known as the Asylum Seeker Assistance Project—provides holistic services and support to asylum seekers and their families living in the Washington, D.C. region. Founded in 2017, the nonprofit has quickly grown to become one of the go-to resources for those seeking asylum, offering employment assistance, social services, and community building to help people build a new life in America. At the outset of 2020, AsylumWorks wanted a brand refresh—a clear definition of who they were, what they had to offer, and why others should believe in their mission. The rebrand would include a new name, a new visual brand identity, and a reworked website incorporating those elements. The new website had to feel welcoming and empowering enough to potential clients—asylum seekers—to encourage them to engage and be capable of inspiring donors and local officials to support AsylumWorks’ mission. The driving belief was that the more the brand evoked how much value and assistance it provided to its clients, the more attractive it would be for potential donors. It needed to be scalable and consistent, capable of being deployed across a wide variety of materials and mediums. What followed was an in-depth design process to revitalize the name, brand identity, logo, and website, in that order. It included in-depth conversations with AsylumWorks’ leadership, stakeholders, and, most importantly, clients and donors on what appealed to them most about the organization and its services. The last point was a particular challenge—for most of AsylumWorks’ clients, English is a second or third language, so the brand identity had to be so strong that it appealed to them on sight. The name that was settled on, AsylumWorks, reflects both the intended audience and the variety of services that the nonprofit provides to its clients. The logo was a combination of the “A” for AsylumWorks and an upward arrow, reflecting the upward trajectory of AsylumWorks clients’ lives. The brand identity strove to be modern, simplistic, and inviting—the same design goals and tenets were applied to the website design process.
The Creative Bar