‘A More Perfect Union’

Brand Identity, Editorial Design

Identity and editorial design for a special project by The Philadelphia Inquirer looking at the roots of systemic racism.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has launched “A More Perfect Union,” a yearlong special project examining the roots of systemic racism in America through institutions founded in Philadelphia. Pentagram developed an identity and visual tool kit for the series, along with the print edition of chapter one, included as an insert with the Sunday, February 20 issue of the newspaper.

Pentagram was commissioned by Publisher and CEO Lisa H. Hughes and worked closely with contributing editor Errin Haines, Creative Director Elizabeth Samet, and Design Director Suzette Moyer and their teams. The digital application of the project has been developed in-house by interactive designer Dain Saint.

The first chapter, written by Wesley Lowery, looks at The Inquirer’s own role in perpetuating racial inequality inside and outside of the newsroom, laying out the challenges and opportunity ahead.

Pentagram created the wordmark with a font based on the signs used at protest marches in the 1960s, specifically the iconic “I AM A MAN” poster originally designed for the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike in 1968. The font Martin was revived by Tré Seals as part of his collection at Vocal Type. The heavy rules evoke redactions, a device made explicit in animation applications. The illustrations were made by Mark Harris.

New York
Luke Hayman
Project team
Shigeto Akiyama
Jordan Taylor
Avery George
Mark Harris, illustrator
View all images