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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Coach Foundation

Entered in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


The Coach Foundation, backed by the iconic New York City fashion house, charged Ghost Note with the task of creating a bold, bright, gritty brand to match the authentic creativity of the young people they serve. This assignment, for us, represented an opportunity to uplift historically underrepresented youth through continually developing new ways to support and inspire their studies, passions, and limitless futures.  Developing a brand identity that felt both timeless and fresh presented the opportunity to be bold and urgent while making nods to the brand's heritage.

Strategy and Execution

Creating a sub-brand for a fashion giant presented a unique opportunity to celebrate their legacy while inviting in space for the next generation, who is served by the Foundation. The challenge was to incorporate key visual components of the existing Coach brand and flex for different audiences—from Gen Z on Instagram to Boomers on Non-Profit Boards— resulting in visuals that have range from simple to complex.​ 

The Coach “C” and Story Patch are iconic and widely-recognizable marks in the Coach brand. Using the shape of these elements in various combinations and configurations, we generated a series of unique shapes that can be used as graphic assets, accents, or photography masks. Referencing an image of paint swatches from the apartment wall of Bonnie Cashin, Coach’s first Creative Director, we created a warm and approachable palette that balances vintage with modern. The palette is based in black and white, and uses accent colors and vibrant photography to bring color to the brand. We imagine a limited palette of modern neutrals paired with a few brighter tones used selectively as accents.

The campaign's art direction gives us the opportunity to deepen the Foundation's connection to Gen Z by capturing aspects of them for the brand: their passion, introspection, stillness, self-expression, tenacity, and radical joy. Taking inspiration from fashion photography - which often uses powerful poses and uplifting compositions - while focusing on vulnerability and humanity is an overall fitting style for the brand imagery. 


The output of our branding exercise exceeded the client's expectations for how the Foundation could bring its programming and events to life, while targeting and resonating with the Gen-Z audience. Judging by the success of the Coach's Foundations Dream Day 2023, which was a tentpole event for the brand in use, we felt that the system we created flexed well to environmental graphics, digital and print graphics, and created an exciting and fresh environment for the Dreamers. The brand guidelines our team provided allowed the Coach Foundation team to quickly execute and expand on any collateral needed across print, web, and social. 

The updated UX/UI and website for the Coach Foundation drove more applications to the Dream It Real program, and better conveyed the Foundation's presence and mission. 


Video for Coach Foundation

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Ghost Note Agency, Coach


Entry Credits