Natasha Jen Designs Identity for The Asian American Foundation

Preview — May 03, 2021

The new nonprofit organization has the mission to empower the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community and combat the rise in anti-Asian hate.

The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) is a new nonprofit organization formed to serve the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the pursuit of belonging and prosperity, free from discrimination, slander and violence. The group has the mission to support those who are on the front lines of combating the rise in anti-Asian hate and unlocking the power of the AAPI community.

Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and team have collaborated with TAAF on a brand identity that conveys this message of togetherness and celebrates the AAPI community. TAAF came together quickly with a board of influential business leaders who recognized the need for a network of resources on the national level. It launches with $250 million, the single largest philanthropic gift devoted to Asian-American causes.

The challenge for the designers was creating a visual identity that would speak to a community that encompasses many different nationalities, ethnicities and cultures. The 23 million AAPI people in the US are an incredibly diverse group that trace their roots back to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. References to specific symbols are too limiting, so the designers thought about universal qualities shared across the cultures.

The TAAF logo presents the acronym in custom typography with the letters joined to form a platform or umbrella that suggests connection and unity. The crossbars on the As can be changed to take on different expressive and calligraphic elements from a range of alphabets. Many Asian languages are rooted in calligraphy, and the logo can be adapted for specific cultures or reference many in dynamic animations. Highlighting the acronym makes it more familiar as TAAF joins other groups that fight extremism like the ADL and the NAACP.

TAAF kicks off AAPI Heritage Month with “Claiming Power: The Future of Asian Americans,” a panel discussion with leaders in civil rights, government, business and philanthropy, Tuesday, May 4 at 3 pm EDT. Watch it here.

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