Period Equity

Brand Identity

A new organization fights to repeal the “tampon tax” on women.

For many American women the cost of living is automatically more expensive than it is for men thanks to the so-called “tampon tax,” the sales tax on tampons and other menstrual products. Now a growing movement is working to end this added expense, and to help more women have access to period essentials. Pentagram has created the identity for Period Equity, a new non-profit that is the nation's first and only law and policy institute dedicated to advancing menstrual access, affordability and safety in the U.S.

The designers worked closely with Period Equity co-founders Jennifer Weiss Wolf and Laura Strausfeld to develop the identity. The issue affects half the population, yet only recently has there been an effort to address access to this basic need. Most women spend up to $70 annually on products like tampons and pads, and many low-income women have trouble affording the cost. Additionally, in 40 states, feminine-hygiene products are being taxed, while equivalent necessities like toilet paper, medical supplies and birth control, including condoms, are tax free.

Pentagram renamed Period Equity, shifting the name from the slightly off-putting Menstrual Equality (When the group ultimately achieves its goal, the name can be inverted to “Equity, Period.”) Graphically the identity pulls no punches about a subject that still makes some people uncomfortable. The logotype is spotted with red dots that echo the name, set in the no-nonsense New Rail Alphabet (designed by Margaret Calvert), but with round punctuation.

As one of its first initiatives, Period Equity partnered with Cosmopolitan to sponsor the first “No Tax on Tampons” petition on, which has garnered over 63,000 signatures to date. As one supporter noted, “If men got periods, tampons would be raining from the skies.” The campaign attracted support from lawmakers, who proposed laws in 15 states, and the tampon tax has been successfully eliminated in Connecticut, Illinois and New York. In New York, a law was also was passed that makes menstrual products free in public schools, jails and shelters.

The new identity will help give Period Equity greater visibility as it continues to approach lawmakers, raise awareness and undo stigma around the issue. The group is featured in this month’s Cosmopolitan in an article about the movement, and a new website for Period Equity designed by former Pentagram partner Lisa Strausfeld is set to launch in early 2017.

New York
Paula Scher
Project team
Courtney Gooch
View all images