Prison Journalism Project
Branding + Publication Design
Prison Journalism Project (PJP) is an independent, national initiative that trains incarcerated writers to be journalists. It publishes their stories online and, now, in print. Their aim is to give a voice to the incarcerated community so they can contribute to discussions about criminal justice reform—a topic that impacts them directly.
“Today, stories about prisons and the criminal justice system are written almost entirely with an outside perspective. We are creating a space for incarcerated writers and others who know the system from the inside out take the power of journalism into their own hands, to learn the craft of journalistic storytelling and to share stories of life behind bars.”
— Prison Journalism Project website
Branding + Logo Design
The directors of PJP got in touch with me to talk about working on a print publication to highlight stories from the project, and I immediately recognized the potential for the print medium to help them reach a portion of their audience that otherwise was difficult— incarcerated people themselves.
Together, we worked on rebranding their website and redesigning their main logo to better fit the organization as it moves forward, as well as creating a few other logos for specific projects, such as the PJP J-School and podcast.
The new logo is bold, powerful, and modern. The stenciled typography is reminiscent of lettering on a prison uniform, while the initials are boxed in, cell-like.
The logo is designed to have strong visual impact instantly upon seeing it, and the narrow, vertical lettering of “Prison Journalism Project” is understated and challenges us to see the strength and dignity in the incarcerated person, and to listen to their experience and words with the same respect as we would any other serious journalist.
PJP x Inside
The PJP newspaper, Inside, is an 8-page publication printed in black ink with a single spot color. It features essays, poetry, op-eds, news articles, and a full page section devoted to journalism education: Prisoners who participate in correctional education programs have 43% lower odds of returning to prison than those who do not.
The inaugural issue of the print newspaper, PJP x Inside, won an Award of Excellence by the from the Society for News Design in front page design.
“I think it looks dynamic and thoughtful and impossible to put down. I love all of the small details, like the white-on-black lettertape, the small punches of color, the illustrations... It looks amazing. I am just so excited about this!”