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  • Chelsea Robinson

How Our Branding Reflects Our Mission

Written by Chelsea Robinson, edited by Nanz Nair for accuracy.


In today's economy, small businesses are often overshadowed by the immense scale and influence of large corporations. These giant companies benefit from economies of scale, allowing them to out-compete smaller players in most cases. We believe that shared & steward ownership models have the potential to level the playing field by banding together and forming strong ties between organizations.


Our branding reflects this core belief. The modular blocks and connecting lines in our visual identity represent the power of aggregating scale through cooperation. Just as our logo features building blocks coming together to form a larger, stronger structure, we envision shared ownership projects uniting to create a formidable force..


The dotted lines in our branding symbolize the flexible and adaptable nature of these connections. They remind us that cooperation can take many forms, tailored to the unique needs and goals of each organization involved. By working together and leveraging their collective strengths, shared ownership clusters can out-cooperate powerful corporations.


To turn this vision into reality, we've done the groundwork. We've spoken with people who have successfully built mutual support clusters and studied the practical ways they've upgraded their operations, finance, strategy, and operations through clever cooperation. We've distilled these insights into an actionable playbook, empowering shared and steward ownership projects to implement these strategies and reap the benefits of collaboration.


The blueprint aesthetic in our branding underscores the idea that the book “Assets in Common” is a starting point, a foundation upon which shared and steward-ownership projects can build and customize their own collaborative structures. Just as a blueprint serves as a guide for construction, “Assets in Common” provides a framework for leaders running shared and steward ownership models to create their own powerful networks.


Our branding is a visual representation of our commitment to empowering shared ownership projects, challenging the status quo, and creating a more equitable and collaborative economy.


To craft this visual identity, we teamed up with Nanz Nair - a senior designer with a specialization in new economy concepts. Nanz has a passion for creative solutions to economic problems, and has personal experience with unconventional legal and financial models in business. Nanz has worked across a range of contexts: with institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University and silicon valley startups, through grassroots efforts such as 350.org and Exit to Community. Early in Nanz’ career she was an active part of the Enspiral network.  Nanz specialized in transition design and human-computer interaction design at CMU. “I bring deep curiosity and reflection not only on what we design but also how we design it together.” (1)


It's been a total privilege to work with Nanz, who has immense intuitive and technical knowledge of the shared and steward ownership field. Nanz brought the vision of this brand direction to life and we’re so grateful to share her gifts through this work. If you’d like to connect with Nanz or learn more about her work you can find her work at nanz.design


We hope you are intrigued and inspired by this body of work, and we hope you enjoy the visual identity that reflects the technicalities and toolkits we’re putting forward to advance the field.




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