WE Global Network asked us to design and facilitate a participatory naming and branding process that stretched across ten states and thirteen cities. Throughout the process, we used design thinking to engage a dynamic network of government agencies and immigrant economic development and innovation organizations. Each voice brought distinct regional perspectives and experiences to the messaging table as we iterated. It was our job to ask questions, listen, synthesize, adapt, reflect, and ultimately combine over a hundred ideas into a single network brand. We loved every minute of it.
In the end, the network of organizations selected “WE Global Network” with the tagline “Leading Rust Belt Immigrant Innovation” as the new brand keystone. “WE” stands for “Welcoming Economies” and represents the network's collaborative efforts to welcome and engage immigrant communities throughout its ten state geography.
The cog-like shape of the logo reflects the region’s historic and continued connection to manufacturing while the ten cogs represent each of the ten communities involved in the WE Global Network. Because this logo is being used in organizations from Missouri to Western New York, it was imperative to create a style guide so that users have a clear roadmap for implementing the new brand identity.
Steve Tobocman, of Global Detroit, said of the process, “We are thrilled to share with you the new brand and identity for the Global Great Lakes Network... from here on out, we will be referred to as the WE Global Network—with WE standing for Welcoming Economies. Global Detroit and Welcoming America have begun working on the mechanics of what will be an official launch for the WE Global Network—one that will draw regional and national press, and new members to the Network.”
- Brand Identity Development
- Participatory Design