Say and Play with Words

A initiative to raise awareness and improve vocabulary for children under age 5 and their families in Detroit.

Brand Identity
Art Direction

Through a series of design labs in the Brightmoor and Southwest neighborhoods of Detroit, it surfaced that while families know that vocabulary and parent-child interactions with words are important, they had not spent much time thinking about how the communities in which they live might support ongoing word and literacy development in their young children. Very few parents were aware that a word-gap existed. 

The Say and Play with Words initiative was born from the desire to raise awareness about and increase parents’ and caregivers’ skills to support their child's vocabulary development and on-going achievements. We worked with early childhood development-focused consultancy EarlyWorks and leveraged design to help bolster the campaign's visibility.


The Say and Play with Words brand began with several unique visual approaches that grew from an ethnographic visual research phase, borrowing from the bright and energetic visual murals, dimensional typography, and flowing friendly letterforms of the program’s neighborhoods. As it was important for us to have community investment in the  


Social Media