Teach For America’s New Brand Identity: FAQs
Why did we rebrand? Why now?
Over the past year, we have been exploring a new brand identity to help clarify who we are and what we do, and signal that, as an organization, we’re confident and optimistic about change—for students, schools, society, and TFA itself.
Why did we change our logo?
Early research and testing validated that our current logo is not providing lift or recognition. Our current logo, which is simply a type treatment of our name, was created more than 25 years ago, at a moment when we were an emerging nonprofit. Although the logo was not hurting the organization, testing validated that it also was not providing brand lift or differentiation in the marketplace. Importantly, it was not designed for the type of digital landscapes in which people today consume information and content—so a thoughtful evaluation and refresh were clearly needed.
During our research-driven process, our corps member prospect audience told us the new logo would make them want to learn more or engage with TFA and was highly attractive when appearing in the technology that they use. This is exciting, for it is critical to our mission that we build a stronger initial connection with a new generation of young leaders who want to transform public education. While a new logo represents a change for some who have been affiliated with TFA for many years, we hope that all will appreciate the benefits of developing a visual identity that works for this generation of potential corps members. We also think that the new logo suggests that, as an organization, we’re confident and optimistic about change—for students, schools, society, and TFA itself.
Why did we add a symbol?
We saw the opportunity to add deeper meaning to support brand clarity by adding a symbol that could speak to our mission and purpose. In addition to better communicating our story and purpose to the world, it also allows our brand to be more flexible and nimble within the digital landscapes that didn't exist when our logo was created.
So...what is it?
It's a spark! It's a sun! It represents the light and potential that lives in all of our students. It's a symbol that represents a movement working together centered on students. In testing we showed participants the symbol by itself and asked people to explain what the symbol represented to them. Some example responses included: Connectivity, Opportunity for all, A brighter future, Community + Unity, Growth, Hope.
When we told them the symbol was for Teach For America they saw: “To promoter brighter futures for students”, “To unite everyone's educational needs regardless of background or beliefs”, “To expand opportunities to all kids to allow them to pursue a brighter future, help the kids to shine”, “Growing educational opportunities nationwide”, “Lighting the way for others”.
Competitive research showed that the vast majority of similar organizations primarily used blues and/or greens in their logos. Selecting purple is a strategy to help us stand apart from the landscape. Also, red + blue makes purple: It’s the combination of our past coming together to make our future.
How is it related to the other changes happening in the org right now?
This work is part of our organization-wide transformation to deliver on our ambitious goal to double the number of children who are on a pathway to economic mobility and improved outcomes in communities where we work. This strategy positions us to strengthen our brand both internally and externally while attracting a new generation. The rebrand signals to the world that we are entering a new chapter in our commitment to educational equity and excellence with every student.