The Asian American Foundation Gets A Logo and Identity from Natasha Jen and Pentagram
Now that Donald Trump is no longer an occupant of the White House, it’s almost easy to forget just how much damage he could do with a single tweet. Since he lost access to his favorite social media toy, he must now regale Mar-a-Lago members at the buffet with tales of his unfair treatment at the hands of deranged leftists or ANTIFA, or through his basic-bitch-blog that’s nothing more than a one-man-shouting-into-the-void Twitter impression.
But even gone, we can still feel the bruise (and he's still very much a threat to democracy).
The truth is, you can draw a direct link from Trump’s racist “Chinese virus” tweets to hateful anti-Asian hashtags on Twitter. Plus, you don’t need me to tell you about the rise in the anti-Asian hate crimes we see play out in the news. But, just in case you weren’t paying attention, the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found a 164% increase in hate crimes targeting the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
A new non-profit organization, The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), has launched this past week, looking to address longstanding needs in the AAPI community. The group has raised $125 million so far and will support AAPI causes over the next five years, with a particular focus on anti-hate efforts, education, and data and research.
In launching their non-profit, TAAF turned to Natasha Jen and her team at Pentagram to help their mission of turning the tide on Asian hate and energizing AAPI communities across the country. Jen and company developed a brand identity for the organization with a message of unity that honors the cultural backgrounds of this diverse population.
However, the challenge in creating that visual identity and working in themes of togetherness and solidarity meant bringing many cultures together under one umbrella. In the US, there are more than 23 million AAPI folks with distinct backgrounds that come from over 20 countries throughout the Asian and Indian subcontinents. Rather than get specific with certain types of symbols familiar to particular regions and cultures, they opted for something more universal.
“The TAAF logo presents the acronym in custom typography with the letters joined to form a platform or umbrella that suggests connection and unity,” Pentagram wrote about the project. “The crossbars on the As can be changed to take on different expressive and calligraphic elements from a range of alphabets. Many Asian languages are rooted in calligraphy, and the logo can be adapted for specific cultures or reference many in dynamic animations. Highlighting the acronym makes it more familiar as TAAF joins other groups that fight extremism like the ADL and the NAACP.”
"We created TAAF to stand up for the 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in this country and help bring us all together in the fight for our own prosperity. TAAF wants to strengthen and build power for AAPIs, particularly as we face an exponential increase in hate and violence," said Sonal Shah, president of TAAF, in a press release.
"AAPI communities need systemic change to ensure we are better supported, represented, and celebrated across all aspects of American life,” Shah added. “TAAF plans to spark that systemic change and help fundamentally transform AAPI empowerment and support well into the future."