New Card Designs Celebrate Black Culture – And Hold Deeper Meaning for Black Employees

Jonita Wilson
Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
Riverwoods, IL
She/Her/Hers

Representation and inclusion matter – for customers, employees and communities.

Discover today launched three new card designs that celebrate Black culture, thanks to the determination, hard work and deliberate actions of two employees who saw an opportunity for the company to be more inclusive in its design choices for customers.

As co-chairs of the Black Organizational Leadership at Discover (BOLD) employee resource group, Chrissy Le’Blanc and Mike Williams were looking for ways their chapter could have a bigger impact at Discover and in their local community.

They learned about our LGBTQ+ Pride card design that our PRIDE employee resource group championed in 2015 to celebrate LGBTQ+ customers and employees, as well as expand Discover’s marketing outreach to that community.

Looking at Discover’s inventory of 100+ card designs, they found famous landmarks and international flags representing dozens of countries across the globe. But none were tied to African heritage or the Black community.

Handful of Color

“I like the hands because it reminds us that in order to see change, we must be all in it together.”

– Ashley Potts

Handful of Color

“I like how (this card) speaks to us as a collective unit and celebrates our diverse skin tones.”

– Bethany Loper

Golden Africa

“I love this card – bold and shows our African Heritage.”

– Jennifer Covert

Silhouettes

“The different facial features/structure along with the colors of the Pan-African flag shows the diversity within the Black community.”

– Crystal Santiago

Silhouettes

“I like that (this card) demonstrates diversity and inclusion.  The picture coupled with the bold and vibrant colors of Africa portrays a story without any words.”

– Cynthia Goslee

And that’s how it all began. Mike and Chrissy researched the spending power of Black consumers. They looked at other U.S. financial institutions to see if they had card art that uplifted their Black employees and customers — and only found one example. They created a proposal that outlined the need and presented data to support the business case. They brainstormed possible card designs.

Mike and Chrissy tackled this project for a variety of reasons.

Mike wanted representation of the Black community in Discover’s card designs. He was proud to work on a project that advocated for inclusion. He believes it’s important for companies to work with and support their employee resource groups, especially on ideas that resonate so deeply and personally.

“Companies like Discover have the opportunity to stand out and not blend in with everyone else,” said Mike, an area manager. “They have the ability to drive positive change by supporting grassroots initiatives and underserved communities.”

Chrissy also wanted Black employees at Discover to feel proud and see that persistence can lead to bigger things. She also wanted to be able to say to colleagues that she didn’t give up.

”I knew this was bigger than just Discover. It had to do with inclusion and diversity. There was no doubt about it,” explained Chrissy, a senior consumer complaints specialist.

Mike and Chrissy brought their idea for consideration to various leaders at Discover. Their original idea quickly gained traction and a cross functional team that included leaders from BOLD and Discover’s cardmember marketing organization. “Our BOLD team came to us with a great opportunity that evolved organically as the cross functional team searched for a way to make our card designs more representative and inclusive. We’re proud of the collaboration between our BOLD ERG and our internal creative team, which gave us a concept that celebrates and represents diversity within the Black community,” said Eduardo Carlos, director of portfolio marketing for Discover.

“Leveraging inspiration and insights from internal stakeholders, our BOLD team crafted the ‘Foundationally Black, Uniquely Diverse’ positioning that informed the three card art options designed by the Discover creative team,” added Carlos.

Earlier this year, members of BOLD chapters from across our company weighed in and voted for the designs they liked the most. And now these three card art designs celebrating the Black community are available to our cardmembers, thanks to the drive of Chrissy and Mike, and the village of individuals across Discover who joined them on the journey to bring this idea to life.

Existing credit cardmembers can get these card designs by visiting
www.discover.com/designs