Omohundro Institute

Branding, Website Design & Development, Messaging, Print Design

“How do we revamp our brand without losing our audience?”

The Omohundro Institute (OI), an independent research organization sponsored by the College of William & Mary, has been studying early American history for over 76 years. Their field, which hadn’t previously attracted younger scholars, especially women, was changing. After all, at the helm of OI now was Karin Wulf, the organization’s first female director. They wanted to distance themselves from any connection to the good ol’ boys club, and take OI into a future where diverse scholarship is celebrated. Our team needed to walk the line between modernizing their brand and keeping true to its illustrious history, in order to keep their core base.

Colour Outside partnered with the Omohundro Institute to re-imagine their brand, craft unifying messaging, design and develop a refined website, and produce printed pieces like their popular Annual Report.

Bright light of scholarship.

Our team redesigned the OI’s new logo, a blend of the letter O and the prestigious Wren Building at William & Mary. The O shape, which mimics the rising sun, is used repeatedly throughout their designs, a bright symbol of knowledge.

Inspired by colors used in early African maps, our team redesigned OI’s website with a brighter palette than its previous color scheme, allowing OI to attract a broader audience of all ages.

Connecting Vast Early America.

The Omohundro Institute’s printed Annual Report booklet is a much-anticipated recap of the year’s events, fellowships, published books, and more; it’s like the yearbook of early American scholarship. Colour Outside oversees the report’s entire production process including design, assembly, and printing.

Giving voice to the past.

Colour Outside crafted unifying messaging that would appeal to OI’s current base as well as the newer, younger audience the organization was eager to attract.

The O shape, which mimics the rising sun, is used repeatedly throughout their designs, a bright symbol of knowledge.

Exploring Ben Franklin’s World.

Our team had the pleasure of branding one of OI’s sister projects, Liz Covart’s podcast Ben Franklin’s World. Named Best History Podcast by the Academy of Podcasters in 2017, Ben Franklin’s World explores early American history in an approachable format for the academically curious.