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The Black Sash

The Black Sash is a non-profit organization that supports and advocates for social justice and human rights in South Africa. Their mission is to educate, monitor, and help assist the community, especially in regards to social security and protection. 

It was an incredible opportunity to collaborate with one of my former classmates, Ernest, who runs a digital marketing start-up in Johannesburg. Through his work, he primarily supports NGOs and small businesses with their online branding.

As one of the oldest human-rights organizations in South Africa, Black Sash needed assistance in solidifying its brand identity and ecosystem.

Role-  Branding, Visual/Graphic Design

Client- The Black Sash Organization

Project Coordinator- Ernest Khathutshelo Tshivhase

Photography/Content- Black Sash Org.

Deliverables- brand guidelines, flyers, social content, website mock-up

The Process

Black Sash was founded in 1955 by six women who fought against the injustices of the Apartheid in South Africa. The organization eventually grew into an avenue for the community to oppose the government policies through marches, demonstrations, and vigils. The women wore black sashes during the protests as a symbol of mourning the "death" of the constitution.


The current type logo is bold, clean, and expresses empowerment/ unity, however, I also wanted to offer an alternative look with an icon that visually represents the name. Here are some of my initial sketches and iterations of the new logo:


Initially, the diagonal lines in the icon are meant to represent not only the black sash in a basic shape but also the pair represents the equal sign as a sign for equality and justice. Although it is simple addition and still kept the brand look minimal- some feedback I received was at a glance, it could be misread as "Back Slash". Therefore, I decided to adjust the sash marks to something that is more organic while still keeping its simplistic form. 

The Re-vamp

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Website Mock-Up & Social Media Graphics

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The Research

Before diving into the re-brand, I wanted to make sure I do diligence and learn more about Black Sash. Understanding their legacy, mission, and services, will help me figure out the look and feel as well as, the kinds of materials what they will need in order to accomplish their work.


Most importantly, I wanted to make sure that I do not divert from the original brand too much. Black Sash has been around for over 60 years, I would assume their bold type logo and black/orange color scheme is already deeply rooted and associated with their organization. Instead, my goal was to extend the ecosystem, ensuring that all digital and print assets are consistent in visuals and is also reusable for future content.

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