One Detroit Credit Union

Re-imagining a new brand to honor an institution’s legacy


The Problem

One Detroit Credit Union was founded in 1935 as the Detroit Newspaper Credit Union to serve the newspaper industry. As the news industry grew to include new communication mediums such as radio, television, printing and publishing, the credit union’s brand evolved; in the 70s, the credit union changed its name to Communicating Arts Credit Union (CACU) to reflect this growth.

By 2015, the credit union expanded its services again to welcome anyone who lives, works or worships in the city of Detroit to become a member. CACU needed a fresh brand to reflect their new position, and a suite of digital, print and web assets to communicate this new vision.


The Solution

Dandelion facilitated a two-day branding workshop with a cross-section of CACU team members; board members, executive leaders, tellers and customer service specialists came together to evaluate the credit union’s current brand and come to a consensus on a new path forward.

To prepare for these workshops Dandelion conducted a series of video interviews with unbanked prospective members and current CACU members to learn their perspectives on the value of banks, credit unions, and other alternative financial institutions. Additionally, our team designed workshops to support CACU team members’ understanding of what the community thought about the credit union’s current brand, value proposition, and identify what they wanted a new brand to convey. The videos and workshops enabled the CACU team to identify One Detroit Credit Union, a new name which conveyed a sense of interconnectedness: although we may come from many different backgrounds and have different experiences, we are all Detroiters.

With the renaming of the organization, together with the information gathered from the interviews and workshops, Dandelion was able to develop a new relevant brand for One Detroit Credit Union. We developed a contemporary, new visual identity for the organization that included communication brand marks, style guidelines, and high-level messaging materials. The new brand reflects a sense of inclusiveness for both established residents who have lived in the city for decades, and for new folks who are just arriving to be a part of Detroit’s revitalization.