IMPACT Strategies is a Washington D.C.-based political advocacy firm founded by attorney, political analyst, entrepreneur, and economic parity advocate Angela Rye. The organization seeks to encourage young professionals in three core areas: economic empowerment, civic engagement, and political involvement. The organization has quickly become a powerful voice and advocate for today’s young professionals of color nationwide. Under Angela’s leadership, IMPACT has formed critical partnerships with the National Bar Association, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, National Urban League, Rainbow PUSH, Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute, Black Leadership Forum, and many others.
IMPACT Strategies’ current identity was developed upon its founding in 2013—a point in time at which our political climate was quite different from the one we’re experiencing today. The election of Donald Trump has greatly shifted IMPACT’s focus from more traditional political advocacy work to teaching civics, teaching clients about social justice and economic parity, and taking on significantly more diversity and inclusion work. As a result, it’s imperative that their new brand identity reflects this shift away from stereotypical D.C. firm towards a powerful, unapologetically black, professional yet edgy advocate for a better tomorrow.
To ensure that the firm had an identity that was unapologetically black and powerful, Vocal created a bespoke typeface inspired by the remnants of the People’s Free Food Program.
When Black Panther Party founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the party in 1966, their goal was to end police brutality in Oakland. But a faction of the Civil Rights Movement led by SNCC member Stokeley Carmichael began calling for the uplift and self-determination of African-Americans, and soon black power was part of their platform. *
With this new concept in mind, the Black Panthers started the People’s Free Food Program. This program provided free food to black and other oppressed people. The intent of the Free Food Program was to supplement the groceries of black and poor people until economic conditions allowed them to purchase good food at reasonable prices. The Free Food Program provided two basic services to the community: 1. An ongoing supply of food to meet their daily needs. 2. Periodic mass distributions of food to reach a larger segment of the community than could be serviced from the ongoing supply. The community was provided with bags of fresh food containing items such as eggs, canned fruits and vegetables, chickens, milk, potatoes, rice, bread, cereal, and so forth. A minimum of a week’s supply of food was included in each bag. *
The final typeface, aptly named “Impactful,” is inspired by the grocery bags of the People’s Free Food Program.
While they only needed an all caps headline typeface, I thought it would be important for the typeface to have some versatility, should they need it. Characters such as ‘C,’ ‘G,’ 'S,’ and most numerals allow the graphic designer to switch between flat and angled terminals, allowing for two different tones.