You may have noticed that the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) logo, website, and social media channels look a bit different these days. Wondering about the story behind these recent updates? We invite you to learn about our re-branding process, what ignited it, and what our new logo and website mean to us.
After about two decades with the same logo and ten years with the same website, TCDD – its staff and audiences – were ready for a refresh! We are ready to incorporate new and improved accessibility and navigation features, to enhance the way we share resources with diverse audiences across the state, and to take a more inviting, dynamic, and holistic approach to our digital storytelling. We are pleased to see our audiences grow and change and want to continue to grow and change along with them. We set a goal to create a more vibrant and meaningful logo and symbol for our organization, reflective of our audiences today.
While our technology and design approach needed an update, our Council, staff, and larger community maintain a deep connection and dedication to our mission and guiding principles – a strong foundation to build from. So, as our delivery methods change, our purpose and values remain consistent.
TCDD’s mission is to create change so that all people with disabilities are fully included in their communities and exercise control over their own lives. We are whole-heartedly committed to self-determination, ensuring diverse representation, leading with best practices, and collaborating with a wide range of mission-aligned partners.
Our approach to re-branding sought to be audience-responsive and integrated. This means it was centered on audience research and strategies are created with audience needs at the center. We put our knowledge of the organization, our constituents, and the feedback and questions we’ve received over time, to work.
As a team of four communicators, plus one stellar intern, we took on the project in-house and collaborated every step of the way. However, we knew we still had a lot to learn from our community.
We began our process in April of 2021 by sending out an in-depth brand communications survey to our Council members, staff members, our newsletter subscribers and social media followers. We asked questions including how they would describe us, how they prefer to receive communications and how frequently, what was most important to convey on a website, how we could improve accessibility, and more. The responses to these surveys were invaluable in helping us to determine goals and priorities for our new strategy.
After spending time reviewing audience research and best practices from our peers at a virtual team retreat, we launched into the strategic design phase. As we designed, we met with every division team within TCDD to learn more about their work and their communications needs. We charted our audiences and our calls-to-action for each aspect of TCDD’s initiatives. We developed a values-based messaging framework that includes tangible proof points. We mapped the framework for our new website with ease of navigation and key messages in mind. And we brainstormed – a lot. With the help of our colleagues and a brand working group, we eventually whittled down a list of about 45 potential taglines and seven logo designs down to three recommendations to present to our Council during our August 2021 council meeting. Our Council voted on the logo and tagline you see today!
Drumroll, please! Above you will see the new TCDD logo and tagline. The logo includes an outline of the state of Texas with a two-toned blue checkmark in the center, extending beyond the state outline, and a red dot just above the dip in the checkmark. To the right of this symbol is a wordmark spelling out our name, “Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities,” in an inviting sans-serif font. Just below is our new tagline, which reads, “Inclusive. Innovative. Impactful.”
State of Texas outline – Texas is our home, and we’re proud of it! It’s also where our core constituents – Texans with developmental disabilities – live and work.
Checkmark, extending outward, with red dot – To us, a checkmark symbolizes progress and action – movement forward. Paired with the red circle, the checkmark resembles a person with their arm raised and ready to participate. You – individuals with disabilities, family members, caregivers, professionals, and allies who engage and participate – are the heart of what we do. Every person has something important to contribute, and when you step up, participate, and take action, our collective actions ignite system change. That is why we represent a person at the heart of our logo. There’s also meaning in the break in the state outline, where the checkmark/raised arm extends outward. We hope that we can learn from other state Councils and that what we do here in Texas is meaningful to people far and wide, beyond our borders.
Red, white, and blue color scheme – Our brand colors represent our service to our state and nation. The bold blue and red hues were selected for their high contrast and accessibility when presented on a white background.
Inclusive. Innovative. Impactful. – Our new tagline reinforces our promise to the people we serve. These are adjectives we embody in every aspect of our work as we carry out the mission of the DD Act. They are also adjectives our audiences used to describe our work in the surveys we conducted. And the alliteration makes it a memorable statement each of us can champion.
We are grateful to TCDD’s Summer 2021 UX/UI Accessibility Intern, Delysa Amissah-Aidoo, for working closely with us to design our new logo. You can learn more about Delysa and her internship with TCDD here.
We invite you to come back and visit our site often, and to join the conversation around important disability-related issues on social media by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Each time you interact with us, we hope you find helpful resources, funding opportunities, thought-provoking stories about transformative change and changemakers in our Texas communities, new programs to engage in, tips from our policy experts about how to advocate for the change you wish to see, and more.