Southern Poverty Law Center The March Continues

For more than 50 years, the Southern Poverty Law Center has been an integral force in the fight for racial justice and human rights in the deep American South. Put simply, they are the organization that bankrupted the KKK. 

In close partnership with the in-house Communications and Design teams, Champions worked to build an updated identity system for SPLC that would sync with their new strategic framework and help unite core communities.

Poverty Law Report, Summer 1984 (Below)

We are in a different time, but we are still in the same fight. In the 1960s, it was Woodstock, Vietnam, and Civil Rights. Today, it’s gun violence, climate activism, and Black Lives Matter, among countless others. 

When Baby Boomers and Gen Z entered their teens and twenties, they entered the political zeitgeist and they battled the establishment for long-needed change. They are our catalyst generations and they are both critical to the SPLC.

To have that connection between the oldest and the youngest generations today is remarkable. The SPLC identity system had to unite them both.

The SPLC was founded by civil rights attorneys as the legal aid arm of a law firm. Today, they provide much more than legal aid. Law is one among four pillars that also include education, policy, and programming. 

The shift to leading with their acronym gives more oxygen to SPLC’s diversity of offerings and reflects how they are commonly referred to in community and in conversation.

The monogram makes use of redrawn letters with custom terminals that sync with the tile system, while the interpunct serves as punctuation.  It says SPLC, period.

The SPLC sub-brands and newly-created state offices are paired with the monogram allowing communications a new clarity, scale, and unity.

As goes the South, so goes the Nation.

In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase infused French colonial culture and style into a young United States, bringing with it French Gothic Revival architecture. Later, Southern Gothic art and literature would expose the myth of the “grand old South” that had been upheld by popular art, like Gone with the Wind. 

Southern Gothic art, architecture, and literature were evidence of a resilience not only to survive, but to critique, to find joy, and to seek change.

This resilience can be found in the network of volunteers who formed the Underground Railroad, the birth of Jazz and Blues, the post-emancipation tradition of Black family reunions, the Black church, and historically Black colleges and universities. 

The legacy of the South is resilience and truth-telling in the face of institutionalized bigotry and violence. The new SPLC identity is a system built in reverence to that resilience as we continue the fight.

The new SPLC identity system calls on the common geometries of Southern Gothic style.

SPLC colors demand attention be given to what matters and offer new freedom to celebrate joyous moments.

Activism is anything but static. Motion allows the SPLC system to march along with the movement.