Behind the Brand: Cultivating Arrabon’s new look
Leaning on practices of reconciliation to create our new identity.
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We couldn’t be more excited about our new branding. Every element captures and conveys what Arrabon is and what we set forth to do in the work of reconciliation.
But this beautiful representation didn’t come to us fully formed; it’s the result of a process that required the Arrabon team to dig deeply into our own identity and purpose.
“We’re an organization that started in 2008,” says founder David M. Bailey. “We’ve been evolving and maturing since then and realized we didn’t have a full understanding of how to articulate who we are.”
It became clear that an outside voice would provide perspective we couldn’t achieve on our own. Lauren Hofer of Atlas Minor Design Studio was the collaborator needed to bring us together to listen, reflect, respond, and coalesce around something new.
Under Lauren’s guidance, we explored questions like, What’s the story of Arrabon? Who are we trying to connect with? Why do we do what we do? “She was able to ask the questions that needed to be asked in ways we hadn’t thought about to allow for a healthy push and pull,” David says. “She takes a mosaic, multiethnic approach to this process, pulling in wisdom from different cultures to get us thinking and talking.”
The fruit of those collaborative conversations didn’t just bring clarity to our team, but they also inspired Lauren’s creative work on our new brand identity.
“Arrabon holds a lot of space for people coming from so many different places,” Lauren says. “That really comes through talking with David—he’ll have a conversation with someone coming from one place and his next meeting is with someone coming from a completely different place that would probably be in total opposition to the conversation with the first person.
“There’s room at the table for all of these people. This is what liberation and Kingdom work are, bringing everyone to this space. And while relationships aren’t perfect in the way we hope that they would be, in the end, we will feast in the house of Zion together. That’s Arrabon’s posture and I wanted that to come through in the identity.”
The table has long been a central metaphor for our team and one that now features prominently in our new branding.
“The table is a gathering place,” Lauren reflects. “Sharing a meal disarms people in a way that being in some other forum isn’t going to do. In essence, Arrabon gathers people together to have a conversation. Along with that, the great leveling plain of the Eucharist is at a table.”
She paired the table element with a mosaic motif that feels like a modern take on traditional stained glass. Varied and vibrant colors signify individual parts coming together to create a whole, as the body of Christ does.
“The stained glass shows how our engagement with conflict, peacemaking, and reconciliation is an act of worship—how we engage with each other, how we engage with our world, how we engage with our place of work,” David says.
In the end, Lauren was more than a facilitator. She became a friend as she created a healthy place for us to come together and wrestle through these important questions. That’s key to our work, as well as hers.
“So much of my work is about relationship building. That’s also the work of reconciliation: Strangers brought near to one another and doing collaborative work. Branding is very intimate because a lot of your business is about who you are. You’re letting me into your life in a really vulnerable way and I’m helping you put your work out there. Like what Arrabon does, there has to be a sense of mutuality and trust to get there successfully. That is deeply liberative and reconciliatory work.”
Find Lauren’s work at: atlasminor.studio
Dr. Bobo brings his expertise in adult formation and education, his engineering mind, and his love for the word of God to the Arrabon table.