MED Brand Book
01

our story

every great brand begins with a story. here’s ours:


At MED we know that donors and organizations led by and working in communities of color want to create a movement for an inclusive, representative and multi-party democracy.

But this movement relies on collaboration with key allies and funders. Without this collaboration, organizations can sometimes feel disempowered to make the kind of bold changes our communities need.

MED believes that collaborative partnerships between racial justice organizations and philanthropists are key to empowering communities to create a racially just democracy.

That’s why we created a More Equitable Democracy. Since 2018, We have re-granted $100,000’s, worked on half a dozen campaigns, and collaborated with dozens of organizations all led by and working in communities of color.


here’s what we do:

  • Foster collaborative relationships with funding partners and allies
  • Co-create electoral transformation plans with community organizations
  • And in the process, we build a movement to radically transform our democracy.

So, join our funder or collaborative network today and begin to build a movement for a more racially just democracy.

Feeling disempowered is a thing of the past.

Collaborate with us at www.equitabledemocracy.org

one liner

We love our one-liner to explain our work. Use it freely.

We are building a network of funders and BIPOC-led organizations to create an inclusive, representative and multi-party democracy.

02

helpful writing tips

reference these writing tips when creating MED content


writing style

We prefer to use Chicago MLA for our writing style. This is especially important for writing blogs, letters to the editor, or editorials for magazines, or newspapers.
The Oxford comma is definitely a must for us.

reading level

We write for accessibility. This means writing for a 7th-8th grade reading level.

tone of voice

Tone of voice refers to the characteristics of how we present ourselves to our audience. Here are a few descriptions of MED’s voice:

  • Knowledgeable
  • Caring
  • Collaborative
  • Urgent
  • Conversational

03

structure for written content


We typically produce two types of written content: persuasive and informative. Sometimes these come in the form of blog posts or internal documents. Sometimes they come in the form of organizational reports. Whichever form, we appreciate quick, succinct structures that help our audiences know our conclusion and what they need to know.

04

writing guidelines

here are some foundational tips to begin writing for MED.


  1. Understand the audience
    Electoral reform attracts many types of people. But MED is a racial justice organization first and foremost.
  2. Write for translation
    MED wants to create content that can be easily translated. This means we want to avoid euphemisms, too many metaphors, and slang. The simpler the language, the easier it is to translate. This means avoiding jargon, slang, metaphors, and similes while also writing at middle-school level.
  3. Be casual but not too casual
    Like, totally, be yourself. And use exclamation marks! Do we like short, personal emails? YES! Do we refer to supporters or audience members as “Bro” or us LOL after sentences? Definitely not. MED should be approachable, personable and always professional.
  4. Be accurate
    Being casual doesn’t mean being careless. Talking about democracy reform, it’s history and its technical aspects can be challenging. MED should strive to be inspirational about changing the world, but we also want to be technically accurate about the details.
  5. Be accessible
    We have to write for a middle-school audience. Research demonstrates that the majority of readers in the United States have a 7th-8th grad reading level. There are plenty of online tools that can be used to analyze writing. Use them and adjust the content accordingly.
  6. Use lists
    Many people reading articles online will scroll through articles. They are looking for the most efficient way to consume information. Bulleted lists are a great way to provide bite sized pieces of information that potential readers can absorb.
    We have to write for a middle-school audience. Research demonstrates that the majority of readers in the United States have a 7th-8th grad reading level. There are plenty of online tools that can be used to analyze writing. Use them and adjust the content accordingly.
  7. Be friendly
    How would you talk about an issue with friends? Let’s communicate with them in a way that is neither condescending, flippant or aggressive.
  8. Be positive
    The decline of democracy is tragic. But there are opportunities within this crisis. We must move our audience to action by providing them with the tools
    and resources and hope.
  9. Be inspirational
    We want to rally tens of thousands of supporters around a multi-racial, multi-party democracy. We want to avoid focusing our communications on the problem. Rather, we want to bring people’s attention to what is possible.
  10. Be clear
    Always make your language simple and easy to read. Superfluous commas, colons, ellipses, parenthesis, and other punctuations can distract
    the reader.
  11. Be brief
    People are busy. Let’s respect their time. Say what we need to say and then stop writing. Here is a great resource on writing content for the digital age.

  1. Be careful with the word crazy
    This is a word we should avoid using altogether. Mental health is a serious issue and using this word instead of a more appropriate descriptive adjective can turn some audience members off to the message we want to provide.
  2. Be considerate
    MED is a people centric organization. We want to be considerate and respectful of how people identify.
  3. Use topic sentences
    Topic sentences are great. They help the reader clearly understand the information in front of them without having to delve too deeply into the content. They are encouraged in all of our digital and print material. Use topic sentences with a word count of 15 or less. Ten words is ideal.
  4. Use can, not will
    When talking about donations, let’s remember there are no guarantees in life. However, people’s donations can contribute to a more meaningful, representative democracy.
  5. Talk about real people
    We want to connect our donors with real people and the organizations they help. If MED is writing about people who are participating in our programs, talk about them! Give them a name and a face. Share their story.
  6. They aren’t our members
    MED does not have members. We have co-creators. Audience members, donors, or program participants do not belong to us. Rather, work in concert to create a multi-racial and just democracy.
  7. There is no RCV
    Let’s not confuse the audience. Be clear about what kind of electoral system we’re talking about. There’s a big difference between Instant Runoff Voting and Proportional Representation systems. Be clear about which one we’re writing about.
  8. You are a who
    It’s helpful to center people in our communications. When talking about the democracy crises, it’s helpful to say “who” and not “that”. For example, there are millions of people who don’t have meaningful representation.
  9. You are a hero
    We want to use the Hero Narrative in our storytelling and position our allies as heroes. This means replacing “us” and “we” with you. Whenever possible, “you” should be the hero. MED is the guide to help audience members achieve greatness.
  10. Use RCN framework
    Research shows how the RCN framework can persuade people to action. By combining race and class into a single narrative, identifying the villains and their tools, while also providing the tools necessary to win campaigns, we create compelling stories and encourage people to stand with us.
  11. Use a simple structure
    Five paragraph essays work. Using a somewhat consistent framework can work for MED and almost audience. Do we always want to use the five paragraphs? Probably not but keeping with a simple structure can help guide our writing and keep our audience focused.


focus less on us and more on them

Ask yourself the following three questions before you start writing. These questions will help you create shorter sentences and more effective documents.

  1. Why is the reader reading this document?
  2. What does the reader need to do with the information?
  3. How can I effortlessly convey the main message to the reader?


05

our color palette

use of color for printed and digital art


The following palette has been selected for use in all communications. Lighter tints of these colors are also allowed.


06

our font


07

our logo


4-color or 2-color
Logo that appears on all official identity materials. More commonly used when materials are printed using exact Pantone colors: PMS 167C and PMS 430C (2-color). Place only on white backgrounds or other light color tones.


1-color
Use PMS 167C when possible. If used in a print situation where one color is used, the entire logo is to be the same color. Place only on white backgrounds or other light color tones.


1-color (alternative)
Use PMS 7409C when possible. If used in a print situation where one color is used, the entire logo is to be the same color. Place only on dark backgrounds or other dark color tones.


Black
Like the 1-color guidelines, the entire logo is to be the same color.


White (Reverse)
Always use the white logo option over medium to dark backgrounds, over photographs or illustrations that are dark or saturated in color or have a prominent visual texture. Like the 1-color guidelines, the entire logo is to be the same color.

08

our logo - social media


Social Media

The social media profile icon draws upon brand elements from the More Equitable Democracy’s primary logo to creating unity and consistence across all communication channels.

Facebook

 

Twitter

09

images

MED is all about people. The images we use on our website, print materials or even our slide decks should always highlight people and current events.

10

illustrations


As much as we love people, we know the power of good illustrations. A well-crafted illustration can make complicated ideas more easily understood. Here are a few of our favorite styles illustrations.

PROSPECTUS ILLUSTRATION EXAMPLES


MAPS EXAMPLE

ELECTORAL SYSTEMS EXAMPLE


11

examples of our work


 
 
 
 

questions

If you have any further questions about the brand book, please contact carlos@equitabledemocracy.org
 

connect with MED

@equitabledemo
facebook.com/equitabledemo

15 Research Dr Suite B, Amherst, MA 01002