FEESA Brand Identity Process Breakdown

FEESA - Feed South Africa

FEESA is a non-profit organization with a mission to end poverty in South Africa, starting specifically in the township of Kayamandi. The belief is that through education of the children, employment of the single mothers that raise them, and the most basic necessities of food and water, these people can pull themselves out of poverty. In an effort to make a lasting and eventually sustainable impact, FEESA gives food vouchers to kids that attend class and employs the mothers to cook their meals. It’s an interesting strategy to a very complex issue.

You can find out more about FEESA at feedsouthafrica.org or follow their day to day experiences in South Africa on Facebook

Objectives and Goals

One of the main objectives was to create a more credible image for FEESA. The last thing you want is for donors to take their contributions elsewhere because they are not sure if they trust the organization. Hand in hand with that is consistency which also needed to be addressed.

Below are examples of flyers for previous FEESA events:


Aside from not having a consistent identity, the use of periods in the name implies an initialism instead of an acronym. FBI and CEO are initialisms, with the initials pronounced one at a time, and not as a word. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is an example of an acronym and is pronounced as a word - as FEESA should be. While there are no strict rules on using periods between letters on acronyms or initialisms, the use of them here seems to make you (or me anyways) want to pronounce FEESA as individual letters and not as a word.

Aside from credibility and consistency, the lack of strategy was also an impediment to the growth and impact of FEESA which also needed to be worked on.

Design Brief 

Working from a logo design questionnaire the client filled out, I was able to fill out a brand brief for FEESA - I’ve found this a useful way to involve clients in the design process without them being intimidated by the process of developing a brand, when what they have a better understanding of, is say a logo. So, I first send them a logo questionnaire and based off of that, I articulate the mission, brand attributes, value proposition, etc. I then send it to the client to look over and change if necessary. This is often an educational exercise for them, pushing them to think about their business in ways they hadn’t before. This back and forth is also helpful in clarifying the brand strategy.

Ian made me feel involved from the start of the process.  His organization and attention to detail were immediately apparent, and he kept me informed as he progressed with the task of designing our non-profit’s logo.

Michael Glow, Managing Director FEESA 




I’ve felt that their is a need for more creative branding for non-profits. With a few notable exceptions, a lot of non-profit identities are bland or not given much thought to. So, instead of looking to non-profits for inspiration, I was drawn to organizations that are for profit, but with an emphasis on social responsibility. One of those is (RED). I recall buying a (RED) t-shirt years ago in a GAP store just because I thought it looked cool. I didn’t even know what the cause supported, I just liked their branding. Another similar company is TOMS shoes. They use a simple and effective “one for one” campaign where they give away a pair shoes for every one they sell. 

Both these organizations have the benefit of partnering with larger brands to sell their product while also giving those brands social responsibility recognition - a win/win for everybody. It’s this sort of “crossroads of commerce and charity” as the founder of TOMS Blake Mycoskie puts it, that influenced me while designing the FEESA brand identity. 

FEESA right now sits farther off this “crossroads” and is strictly a non-profit, but I see no reason why it can’t use this sort of ideology to help make an impact. Lance Armstrong’s Livstrong Foundation is an example of a non-profit that uses a product for fundraising and to raise awareness. Right now FEESA is just getting off the ground so it has no such tangible product as of yet to support it’s mission. But I can see a day when it partners with other brands to do so.

The Brandmark


One of the messages FEESA is trying to get across is that of basic needs: Food, Education, Employment, Water, Shelter. Nothing fussy. Just the basics. That is what FEESA does. Donations go to these basic needs. The hope is that simplicity will breed trust in the brand - similar to the “one for one” TOMS campaign mentioned above. It’s easy to understand and that’s one reason it works. 

Fundamental and Elemental were key words that kept coming up. So I devised a basic wordmark as the solution. The two broken down E’s that make it distinct can be seen as the structure (Education and Employment) necessary to bring the people out of poverty in a sustainable and lasting way.

Reproduction costs of the mark for hats, t-shirts and other merchandise was a major consideration, as is always the case with non-profits (or for-profits for that matter - the recent Starbucks redesign will save Starbucks millions in printing costs). 


Typography & Color

Gestalt bold was used sparingly for the brandmark along with Gotham for headlines. The letter T was used as a cross - a symbol long associated with aid - for use as a design element to subtly extend the brand.

A mud and clay color were used as earthy colors to match the colors of the soil where these people live and sometimes even sleep on. They are quite literally, dirt poor. And need help.

A big part of the identity relies on the striking photography of the children of Kayamandi. These wonderful images were taken and supplied courtesy of mindiphotography and speak for themselves.

As a way to show the viability of the design I put together a presentation for the client of contextual mock-ups. A brochure for example, a website, poster, etc. I think it can be very helpful for clients to see what the brand would look like out in the world to give them a better vantage point from which to judge the design - along with measuring it against the objectives and goals outlined in the beginning of the process. These are merely a tool so imperfections in alignment and color can be found if you look for them. They are not perfect, but they are also not meant to be.