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Brand Bible by Debbie Millman

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BRAND BIBLE282
(Text)



 The Girl Scouts had made a lot of internal
changes and they were ready to communicate them.
They wanted to convey that the Girl Scouts is as
appropriate to todays girls as it was to their moms.
 They wanted to gure out ways to keep girls
involved and excited about being a part of Girl Scouts
even as they get older, when Girl Scouts is no longer
seen as the cool thing to do.
30
How to Brand
a nonprofit

Jennifer Kinon &
Bobby C. Martin, Jr.
Original Champions
of Design
Updating a classic for
modern times
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283
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

 The Girl Scouts have 108 councils,
recently consolidated from over 300. All these
individual councils are contractually allowed to do
whatever they want to do with their identity. The
usual approach for the organization was to take
the Saul Bass stamp—a beautiful, iconic mark—and
stamp everything with it. They were hanging their
whole brand on a single mark, but the brand is more
expansive than that. The brand needed to be able to
sit on the desk of Michelle Obama or on a banner out
on a soccer eld. The brand needed to be fashionable.
We were determined to give them some exibility and
“ownability” so that the brand could extend through
all possible touchpoints. Our goal was to take the Saul
Bass mark and base an entire system on it. We wanted
to empower the Girl Scouts with a broad enough spec-
trum of graphic language so that they could make any
ier they wanted and still be “on brand.”
 We used a handful of elements to challenge
the way that girls and women are typically thought
of—we moved away from pinks and childish graphic
devices, and worked to engage girls and inspire them
in a new way.
Girl Scouts also had a massive brand book, lled
with guidelines dating all the way back to 1978
when Saul Bass created the mark. Every time a
company had come in to do minor modications,
new guidelines were added. We created a short
brand guide—a cheat sheet of sorts—that anybody
could pin up or keep in a drawer. This short guide
provided simplicity and exibility.
The iconic trefoil
mark, designed by
Saul Bass, updated for
the Girl Scouts and
grouped into patterns


 The rst step was to learn as much as
possible about the visual history of the Girl Scouts.
We went through the archives, looked through each
and every bag and tag on every outt and every
pin and badge. Then we interviewed key internal
players. We also talked with the girls, and we made
art collages with them. We hung out with them and
listened to them talk about the brand.
 We were also given prior research material,
and we surrounded ourselves with all of the quan-
titative research that had been done. We looked at
things that were currently happening in the world
of girls’ pop culture. We wanted to be archaeologists
of design and nd the things in the brand that were
there in the beginning.

 Before Saul Bass, the trefoil had a point
on the i. Bass took the point away when he made his
beautiful mark. Our goal was to create a system where
How to Brand a Nonprofit
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