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Reimagining a place for people with IDD

After 40 years building and growing the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (JFGH), the team was at an inflection point. JFGH had become so much more than group homes. For people with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD) in the DC area, JFGH provides a community where they learn life skills, get practical job training, and find support—so they can live the life they choose. It was time for JFGH to modernize its brand to match the sophisticated organization it had become.

We partnered together to reimagine JFGH from a clean slate: A bold new name—Makom—that carries forward their principles of inclusion and community with a nod to JFGH’s Jewish history and values, a modern visual identity that reflects Makom’s leadership in the IDD community, and a new website that helps parents and caregivers find support—so they can rest easy knowing that their loved ones are in great hands.

Research & Discovery

  • Four decades in, JFGH’s name, brand, and website weren’t cutting it

    To reimagine it all, we had to take a big step back and discuss what the next 40 years would look like for the team. These discovery conversations unearthed a core idea: JFGH was open to a dramatic reshaping of their identity. So we got to work, launching an in-depth naming process that generated tons of ideas and, eventually, a finalist that felt obvious when we landed on it.

    Various exercises and progression of name options for JFGH Discovery

    Why Makom? In Hebrew, Makom means place. And more than a physical place, it means where each of us and all of us belong. In their words: “We are acknowledging the expansion of our work while affirming that we will always be the place where people with IDD feel at home… wherever they are. Our place is now called Makom.”

    radiating starburst icon with the text 'supporting self-determined lives' around it, with the word 'MAKOM' in all caps

    A place of belonging

    With a name and a solid understanding of the character and direction of the new brand, Teal created a new visual identity for Makom to bring it all together. The new visual brand system is flexible, approachable, and modern—a 21st century rethinking of a community that changes lives.

    tote bag, pins, stationery, and tablet design mockups mixed in with photos of people wearing makom branded apparel

    To help parents and caretakers of those with IDD see Makom as strong community for their loved one, Teal used authentic photography—not stock—to show Makom in action. In their words, “We really want people with IDD to see themselves in the greater story of JFGH and feel hopeful, confident, and empowered.”

    Creating a Sub-Brand

  • Launching MyPad

    Teal also designed a sub-brand and website for MyPad, a standalone program of Makom. MyPad offers the opportunity for people with IDD to live on their own in beautiful, below-market rentals in highly desirable, accessible neighborhoods.

    The sub-brand fits within the overall Makom brand family while standing on its own to help directly reach people with IDD who are interested in joining the MyPad community.

    orange box with the word 'mypad' in white inside
    various branded materials for the 'mypad' brand, including stationery and images of people
    a tile of pages from the makom brand style guide

    Website Design & Development

  • A clean-sheet new website that’s easier, faster, friendlier

    Teal crafted a new website for Makom to bring all of the pieces together—a declarative new name, a dynamic new visual brand, and a clear focus on helping people with IDD and the parents and caretakers who support them see themselves at Makom. Key website features include:

    • Start here: A new Makom Wizard guides visitors through two qualifying questions to connect them with the right support—quickly and easily.
    • Programs & Supports: With clear language and visuals, a new section shows what Makom offers, details how each service works, and directs parents and caretakers to the right contact to learn more.

    Writing the Next Chapter for Makom

    Over the course of four decades, JFGH has become so much more than group homes. Teal is proud to support Makom in its journey to support people with IDD to live the life they choose—one filled with meaning, connection, and joy. In their words, “We are thrilled to have you join us as we enter our next chapter as Makom. The best is yet to come.”

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