Matchstic Radically Relevant


While The AJC has long enjoyed the trust of Southerners, the organization faced a modern challenge. With the ongoing decline in newspaper subscriptions and emerging technology continually redefining the way we consume information, the brand needed to reaffirm its relevance for today’s audiences. Enter The Substance and Soul of the South, a message that touts their trustworthy and rigorous reporting and highlights their distinctly Southern perspective.


The AJC’s rich history is best reflected in its blackletter wordmark. Recognizing the necessity to update this iconic blackletter to better suit the brand’s evolved focus on digital and non-print media, we collaborated with Dalton Maag to simplify and unify the letterforms without compromising their visual equity.

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Visual System

The primary concept of the visual system is pulled from the organization name itself. In 1982, The Atlanta Journal merged with the Atlanta Constitution—and in 2001, the hyphen was introduced to connect the two names. The hyphen is now used as a visual frame to elevate our stories, as a connector line to link contrasting information, and as a repetitive device to create rhythm.

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Verbal Identity

The verbal identity is rooted in the AJC’s dual embrace of substance and soul, reinforcing their commitment to Atlanta while setting the stage for a true leadership position not just at home, but across the South. The brand voice blends the intelligence of top-tier journalism with the Southern character that suffuses all Atlanta, brought to life by short, sharp, headline-inspired language written to be smart without sounding preachy or academic. It's the verbal complement to a design system that highlights the AJC's role as a "frame" for the South’s biggest stories, inviting the AJC to celebrate their journalistic bona fides while creating space for a unique POV.

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At the end of the day, this evolved brand identity for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution makes one thing crystal clear: anybody can cover the South, but there’s only one paper that can claim it.

Thanks to:

Ned Reid, Jaime McMurtie and Drue Miller for the trust and constant collaboration.


Creative Direction by Blake Howard
Design Direction by Gray Hauser
Designed by Gray Hauser, Brit Blankenship, Brian Paul Nelson, Reid Parsekian, Michael Martino, Déborah Neaves
Verbal Identity by Cam Leberecht, Clayton Notestine
Blackletter Refinement by Dalton Maag
Animations by Max Prince
Brand Strategy by Blake Howard, Cam Leberecht, Gray Hauser
Project Management by Patrice Fielder