Oakland Unite - Case Study

December 13, 2012 by bryan

Measure Y into Oakland Unite -  Before and After

Getting Started

The Oakland Unite branding process began in autumn of 2011 when the Department of Human Services selected Mazzarello Media and Arts, an Oakland graphic design studio, to rename and rebrand Measure Y,  a violence prevention program administered through the Oakland Department of Human Services.

The goal was to enhance the efforts of Measure Y in the greater Oakland community by renaming the program and creating a new logo that reflects its current work and future aspirations. 

We wanted to leverage Measure Y’s assets, attributes, and advantages while reflecting the vision and core values and elevate the visibility and reputation of Measure Y to key audiences:

  • Current and future grant recipients
  • Communities Measure Y serves
  • Oakland citizens unaware of past and current efforts
  • Politicians


Before we began we knew we wanted to hear from grantees of the program. We created a multipart survey that went out to grant recipients of Measure Y and asked questions like:

  • We want to know what messages will help attract clients to participate and stay involved in our violence prevention activities. Which messages or aspects of Measure Y's work appeal to your clients?
  • What shortcomings exist with the current name "Measure Y"?
  • What changes in the logo, name and brand of Measure Y would help you achieve your goals better?
  • What words or ideas might you want to include in Measure Y's new name and slogan?
  • Which parts of Measure Y's CURRENT brand and logo do your CLIENTS really like or dislike?
  • What three words would your clients use to describe Measure Y's mission and work?


After gathering and reflecting on the data, Mazzarello Media and Arts was asked to lead a brainstorming session (March 2012) in with several Department of Human Services staff members, city officials, grantees of the program, and even members of the community positively affected by the programs.

Honing the Message

Later, Mazzarello Media and Arts presented over 40 name ideas and 20 tagline concepts. We went through several rounds of edits and in the beginning of May the final name and tagline was selected, Oakland Unite: One City, Once Peace, One Future.

Designing the Logo

Then came the design phase:

  • Typography development
  • 3 design themes
  • 3-5 variations per theme
  • 2 rounds of design revisions
  • Color palette development
  • Color revisions

Once the logo was decided upon we finalized the colors in July 2012 and crafted a branding guide completed September 2012 to ensure our efforts would have standards that could be followed in future collateral pieces by both the City of Oakland and the grantees.


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