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Extending their partnership with nonprofits supported by the Sie family of Denver, ArtHouse Design (Denver, Colo.) recently completed the rebranding phase of a comprehensive identity package for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, "Global." Global Co-Founder, President and CEO Michelle Sie Whitten hired ArtHouse for its creative and brand expertise and authority in experiential graphic and healthcare design, including theming, wayfinding, signage and donor recognition.
Founded in 2009, Global is dedicated to saving and transforming the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education and advocacy. The rebrand coincides with Global’s recent move into Denver’s Cherry Creek business district. They also have a significant presence at Children’s Hospital Colorado, with the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome, and at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, with the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first academic home for Down syndrome research in the U.S.
“Global is unique in their focus on seeking increased funding for scientific and medical research for people with Down syndrome. We’re honored and inspired to be a part of their efforts,” said Zach Kotel, ArtHouse associate design director. “Using the power of design to transform a brand and help an underserved community raise awareness and support has been the most rewarding part of this project.”
True to its name, Global is increasing its efforts not only in the U.S. but also in Africa, China, Europe and other parts of the world. ArtHouse worked with Global to create a powerful yet approachable identity that symbolizes progress and momentum, as well as diversity and balance. The three strands of DNA in the logo represent the triplication of chromosome 21, called Trisomy 21, the genetic disorder that causes Down syndrome. Bridging the divide between scientific and social, the brand is versatile for a variety of applications; it’s serious and sophisticated when it needs to be and fun and playful when it should be.
Experts in experiential healthcare design, ArtHouse also considered the special needs of the community. For example, people with Down syndrome are typically shorter than average height, so ArtHouse, partnering with ADCON Signs for signage fabrication and installation, placed ADA code-required signs as low as regulations would permit. This subtle yet significant feature helped increase accessibility for anyone navigating Global’s new home. ArtHouse also led an extensive concepting process followed by several rounds of mockups and prototyping to gain insight into ideas before they were implemented.
“With a lot of moving parts, this project has really been a community-driven effort, from our highly collaborative partnership with Global to numerous focus groups with diverse stakeholders,” said Aaron Hilst, ArtHouse senior designer. “We appreciate the trust and flexibility we’ve had from Michelle and the project team in using our knowledge and creativity to develop thoughtful, deliberate and meaningful solutions that will help Global continue to grow—and achieve their ambitious goals—for years to come.”
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