Good design is essential to communicating an organization's goals, pursuits, hopes and dreams. 

And while “good” design can be purple or red, set in Comic Sans or Garamond, textured or clean, the essential elements in a successful brand identity stay the same.

While this is the basic identity guide for CKX, we encourage smaller organizations to use it as their own template to successfully communicate their brand. Each element is separated and explained, giving the how’s, why’s and what’s.


Our Pursuit

Designing something beautiful is easy. Designing something with purpose is where the real work starts. The starting point for any successful brand identity is to understand the brand’s mission or pursuit. CKX's pursuit is simple:

Social change agency.

What does that look like?


Used effectively, colour can communicate tone better than words. 

CKX uses a limited palette to communicate an approachable yet strong message. A limited palette might feel like exactly that — limited — but a lot of white space with little punches of colour is the perfect match for our hardworking brand: straight and to the point with flourishes of beauty.

To ensure consistency, please use the following colour codes. PMS and CMYK codes are used for physical printing, while RGB and HEX codes are used on digital platforms.



0  94  50  0
RGB 209  82  99
HEX d15263
PMS 191C


50  0  7  0
RGB 147  205  229
HEX 93cde5
PMS 2905C


0  29  84  0
RGB 237 186  79
HEX edba4f
PMS 136C


Unfortunately it's not always possible to sit across from every stakeholder and pitch your pursuit over coffee. Typography is used to replace the sound of your soothing voice. Bold sans-serif type communicates a big, strong message, while an elegant sans-serif communicates value and prestige.

The CKX brand uses a mix of both. Sometimes our messages need to stand out and be heard. Other times, they need to be understated and explanatory.  

Our headers, the words that need to stand out, are set in Futura Bold. Futura is a sans-serif typeface with a geometric design that provides clarity.

Call outs and sub-heads are set in Garamond, a  serif face. A classy way of stating your message.

Body copy is also set in Futura, this time in its regular weight. It has a familiar quality and is easily digestible for longer reads.

Remember: this is our voice. Using an unrecognized typeface in any of our documentation can be likened to a prepubescent crackle in our voice. Save us the embarrassment; make sure our voice is as strong as possible with the right typeface.



Pattern and texture are used to support messaging, not to detract from it. A little grit and grain communicates the organic nature of our organization, while ornate patterns, like serif typography, create a mystique of elegance.

For CKX, we use patterns to communicate the concept of our expanding ideas, as well as the geographically dispersed nature of our team and organization. We looked to literal maps for our inspiration and found it in topography. In some patterns, you can visualize where ideas start and reverberate from. In other instances, you can see how ideas travel.

While patterns and textures are all kinds of beautiful, it's important to use them sparingly as they can get distracting. Simplicity is often the best practice. 



Photography is the easiest tool for creating tone. Whoever said a picture is worth a 1000 words was right. A photo can yield all kinds of meaning, and it’s important to be aware of their power. 

CKX is a social change agency that gets things done. And that is showcased in every photo. The photos used for CKX are full of colour and activity and inclusion. Every photo used shows work getting done, whether an emphatic conversation on the conference floor or a team of shift disturbers huddled around a workshop table. 

We steer clear of inspirational photos of earth and sky, and of the lovely yet typical photos of business people staring at the camera, arms-crossed. Typical stock photography is just that. We aim to be different.


Symbols and Iconography

Symbols communicate in a second what might take words a paragraph to accomplish. However, symbols and icons can be overused. Like pattern and texture, use them sparingly.  

And like everything else, make sure they are consistent. Libraries found on stock sites like Getty or iStock are a good resource, but for smaller organizations with smaller budgets, a site like the Noun Project comes in handy. Make sure the icons and symbols are consistent in line width, size, and proportion — and be sure to attribute your sources when appropriate. 


Photo by ponsuwan/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by ponsuwan/iStock / Getty Images


This guide is used to build a consistent (read: strong) visual brand identity for your team and organization. It needs to be stressed that this is just one part of creating an entire brand. Everything from the copywriting in your brochures to how an office manager answers the phone is all part of your brand. 

Remember: strong and simple should always be the goal, always circling back to your organization’s mission and ensuring your design supports that mission.

And whatever you do, do it consistently.