Rebranding a Community Development Nonprofit
A pioneer in sustainable urban community development sector, Pratt Center has been a tireless advocate for NYC’s 5 boroughs, partnering with government, businesses, NGOs, and communities to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable New York. With their 50th anniversary fast approaching and with numerous new competitors in a field they helped create, Pratt Center turned to Constructive to help them reinvigorate their brand and bring their organization back to the forefront.
How have things changed over the last 50 years?
To develop a brand and website that would honor Pratt Center’s 50-year history and pave the way for the next half-century, we had a lot to learn—not just about the organization, but about the sustainable community development sector they pioneered. We conducted surveys, independent research, and collaborative workshops to gain insight into Pratt’s mission, methods, values, audiences, and more—then distilled our findings into a brand assessment including a program structure simplification organizing their work into four core issue areas.
What can the website tell us about solving bigger problems?
As part of our research, auditing Pratt Center’s website—which epitomized the confusion with their brand—was essential to understanding the opportunities to holistically improve their brand. Disorganized and filled with text-heavy pages, it failed to communicate their mission, key issues, expertise, and programs. And a sub-par visual identity led to an underwhelming design that failed to embody the spirit, commitment, and diversity of the Pratt Center, its partners, and the communities across New York City they were dedicated to.
What does the brand sound like and how should it be experienced?
Brand research and analysis provided everyone with plenty of insights for successfully repositioning the brand. Now it was time to translate it into a story that would resonate. We collaborated with Pratt Center’s team to create a narrative that communicates who they are, what they do, and why it matters. The resulting strategic positioning and messaging platform places Pratt Center at the forefront of the field it helped establish by increasing mission focus, differentiating the brand, expressing core values and a brand promise, and articulating the kinds of relationships Pratt Center seeks to build with the many different audiences it engages.
Pratt Center’s positioning strategy is distilled into a messaging handbook that makes it easier for staff to understand the brand and create brand-aligned experiences in everyday interactions.
How can we incorporate core brand values into a logo?
How do we encourage exploration and activate brand advocates?
Pratt Center’s website is both a home for its brand and programs, as well as a hub of valuable research and resources for people working in the community development space. User experience design tells Pratt Center’s story by leading with bold, key statements on key pages that paint a big picture, and a homepage that provides quick entry points to different issue areas and programs. Research, resources, and events are elevated and dynamically made available throughout the site related to users’ interests. And visual design extends visual identity, creating a structured experience with strong grids that reflect the organization’s urban focus.
Pratt Center’s website is strong, bold, and colorful like the city it calls home, delivering a clear point-of-view that demonstrates the nonprofit’s role as a partner, thought-leader, and champion for sustainable, equitable urban communities.
Our Client's Experience
“Constructive took the time to understand us, acting as creative experts and organizational advocates. We started with brand strategy and positioning—time well spent pushing us to verbalize the strategy and theory behind our work. Their team was friendly, accessible, and responsive throughout. It’s been a challenging yet immensely rewarding experience.”