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International Crisis Group

Preventing War. Shaping Peace.

International Crisis Group

Preventing War. Shaping Peace.


For 20 years, Crisis Group has worked to prevent and reduce deadly conflict worldwide. From Sri Lanka’s peace process and Myanmar’s transition to democracy, to Iran’s nuclear negotiations and the military drawdown in Afghanistan, the organisation has used mediation, advocacy and the insight of its experts on the ground to help governments change course and policies – all in pursuit of peace.

However, since Crisis Group was formed in the 1990s, the nature of conflict has changed beyond recognition. Previously, wars tended to be conducted state versus state where the parties and their motivations were well defined.

Today, Crisis Group faces a world of widespread cross-border terrorism perpetrated by disparate non-state actors and a reluctance among governments to intervene.

How could Edelman help Crisis Group reconsider its reason for being and redefine its role in this challenging new landscape? How could we build a new visual identity for the organisation that was fit for the modern, digital world? And how could we help Crisis Group continue to lead established policy debate while earning the attention, trust and support of new audiences worldwide?


A new narrative

First, as a strategic priority, we helped Crisis Group consider its role as the world’s early warning system for deadly conflict in this new conflict landscape. We facilitated challenging internal conversations that allowed Crisis Group to land a new mission statement. Then, through a brand prism workshop, we helped Crisis Group develop a compelling new narrative to tell the organisation’s evolving story, and directly address the question ‘why does Crisis Group still matter in today’s very different world of conflict?’.

A new look

Second, Crisis Group needed a fresh, modern and symbolic look. One that would be fit for purpose in today’s interconnected, digital age, and that would let it engage a wider audience of informed publics and private donors. Using a carefully developed seven-step creative process, we took the organisation on a journey – from initial visual research, competitor analysis and concept development through to re-designing its visual identity. Working closely with Crisis Group’s in-house design team, we created a new logo, colour palette, font and suite of design assets. All the materials and collateral were rigorously tested internationally to ensure resonance in all key markets. The new identity gave Crisis Group’s brand a flexible, simple, standout look and feel, and visually captured its role in spotlighting areas at risk of conflict or crisis worldwide.

A new voice

Third, with a new narrative and bold new visual identity, we gave Crisis Group the tools with which to tell its story to the widest possible audience. We developed a captivating presentation for analysts and fundraisers to promote the organisation to policymakers and donors alike. We reviewed some of the organisation’s digital assets, giving advice on how to make them more accessible to today’s time-pressured readership. We created a powerful and evocative film – in collaboration with actor Sam Weston and composer Philip Glass – to celebrate Crisis Group’s two decades of success while highlighting its critical continuing role; this was screened at an international gala in New York. And we helped build up the organisation’s library of content through the launch of a series of thought leadership essays penned by pre-eminent policy influencers, including one by our own CEO Ed Williams on “Fighting the digital wars of the future”.


Over the past two years, our pro bono work has helped Crisis Group redefine and re-establish itself for the modern age, and align behind a compelling, relevant brand identity.

The organisation is now reaching beyond the world of government to engage a fresh generation of policy influencers and donors – something which is crucial to its long-term survival and success. By bringing clarity to its mission and relevance to its story, and by revitalising its visual identity and empowering the organisation’s leaders to tell that story, we have helped Crisis Group celebrate its distinguished past while ensuring its vital voice is heard in what is a perilous future. As the world experiences more deadly conflict than at any time since the fall of the Berlin Wall, that voice of reason is needed more than ever.

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