After sixty years of pioneering civic education, the Constitutional Rights Foundation was being perceived as exactly the opposite of what it stands for: politically right- or left-leaning depending on who you asked, when in fact the organization is resolutely non-partisan; a funder when it’s a nonprofit; and wedded to the constitution, when civics is so much broader. The nonprofit knew it needed a name change, but what it got was a new identity.
501c Design partnered with TakeTwo Services for this dual project: a name change and a new graphic identity package. After interviews and workshops to identify the organization’s unique value proposition and “personality”, the team came up with a two-word descriptive, and illustrative name: Teach Democracy. Along with it, the tagline communicates the raison d’etre: civic participation begins with civic education.

The design system needed to speak to varied audiences like teachers, lawyers, and non-partisan supporters of civic education. This new visual identity–logo, color palette, fonts, and an overall look–reposition Teach Democracy accurately. The logo is a star above a pair of overlapping curved stripes. The stripes suggest an open book as a nod toward Teach Democracy’s core work: education. But the stripes also can be read as a horizon of hills with a rising star, projecting an optimistic look into the future of rising stars of a new generation of civic leaders. Finally, the colors and stars and stripes motif are suggestive of the American flag, a symbol of American democracy. 


Teach Democracy


Branding audit and overhaul, brand and design consulting, organizational name change, updated logo and brand identity, print assets, art direction, social media, email blast development, staff training. 

  • Renaming strategic process resulted in a new name embraced by the organization
  • New name, tagline, and design identity accurately represent the organization’s mission
  • Colors root the identity in history – the previous brand was also blue, and red – but with an updated feel through more vibrant hues and additional purple to underline Teach Democracy’s nonpartisan approach

Managing a Team for Success

What’s in a name? It turns out, a lot. Turning Constitutional Rights Foundation to Teach Democracy was an exhaustive research process shepherded by the 501c Design team along with trusty partner, Take Two Services. As with any rebranding and renaming process, it required clear communication channels and close collaboration skills among team members and the client. This ensured a smooth transition from exploratory research to concept development to final execution. The team not only crafted a compelling and resonant new brand identity for the organization, but also took a proactive role in training the organization’s staff on the intricacies of implementing and rolling out the new brand. This comprehensive approach underscored 501c Design’s strategic commitment to empower Teach Democracy with the tools and knowledge needed for a successful integration of the refreshed brand into their organizational culture and external communications.

Need to rethink how you present yourself to your audiences? Let 501c Design help you reach the right stakeholders and embody the right mission-driven message with a proven rebranding process that is guaranteed to succeed. 

“501c Design was just the right company at just the right time for Teach Democracy (formerly Constitutional Rights Foundation). Prior efforts to change the name had failed, but 501c Design brought the right mix of patience and professionalism. The research and process were exhaustive and inclusive, so much so that stakeholders were very confident in the work and were won over to the prospect of change.”

– Amanda Susskind, President, Teach Democracy