YNPN Boston

Brand design and style guide development


The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Boston (YNPN Boston) is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that focuses on helping people working in Boston's nonprofit community connect and professional development opportunities. From 2014-2017, I was a YNPN Boston Leadership Team member, first as a Communications Ambassador and then as the Co-Director of Communications and Marketing two years later. As a member of the Leadership Team, I led the brand design and development of the organization's style guide.

Role: Copywriting and Graphic Design

Developing Clear Brand Guidelines

As a volunteer-run nonprofit organization, keeping a record of brand materials and assets was difficult. When I joined YNPN Boston in 2014, one of my first tasks was creating print and web design files of the organization's logo based on an old jpg. My process included identifying the brand font and font size based on the original jpg and standardizing CMYK and RGB values for the organization's brand colors.

But we didn't stop there.

It was important to be able to share this information across the organization, especially as team members were offboarded and onboarded. Our solution was to create brand guidelines. I led this project, documenting the organization's institutional brand knowledge. With the guide, team members could:

  • Identify the primary and secondary logos
  • Access branded messages, such as our mission statement
  • Read about the typography and color systems
  • Reference our writing style

I worked closely with our Director of Communications & Marketing to ensure the guide was specific about the brand boundaries and areas of flexibility and still accessible to people with varying levels of creative skills.

Melissa not only brings tremendous talent to her work, but she is also a fantastic collaborator who fully immerses herself in the context and goals of each project. She fosters dialogue around each project through thoughtful questions, good listening, an instructive approach to communicating her design input, and being highly responsive to client feedback. If you are seeking a designer who feels like a true teammate in support of your brand and your storytelling, Melissa is the perfect fit.

Heather Davidson
Senior Manager, Communications, Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Former Director of Communications and Marketing, YNPN Boston

YNPN Boston Fright-Free Networking
YNPN Boston Taco Tuesdays
YNPN Boston September Happy Hour
YNPN Boston A Toast Nonprofit Excellence

Examples of the brand guidelines in use.

Logo for YNPN Boston's Nerding Out to Get Ahead event series
Logo for YNPN Boston's Channeling Wisdom content series
Logo for YNPN Boston's #NPSquadGoals content series

Sub-brands for YNPN Boston content and event series.

Increasing Internal Branding and Design Education

Though team members may not have been formal copywriters or designers, many had roles that required them to interact with or develop creative. I developed content for and led branding workshops to support their efforts and the organization's brand health. I also coached other team members in designing assets by offering feedback and answering questions to ensure the creative reflected the brand attributes.


Select slides from the workshop presentation.

YNPN Boston Design Resources Guide Page 1
YNPN Boston Design Resources Guide Page 2

Two-page handout for workshop attendees.