Visual Identity- much more than a logo
February 18, 2011 By Colin McElwee
Worldreader is a relatively young organization; this time last year we didn’t even have a web site. We have done a lot with the few but valuable resources we possess. One of the resources that we have used intensively has been our visual identity (better known as our logo) which our friends at Rassak speedily created before we took off for the first trial in Ghana in March 2010. That logo has served us well this year but we thought it was time to review whether it would take us through the next few critical years.
What’s the value of the logo? Well it’s really important. It’s the piece of the iceberg you see poking out of the water that should represent all that is hidden below the water line. Remember icebergs only get really complicated when that is not the case, and they communicate something above the water line incoherent with that below– ask the Titanic!
We deal with a great deal of stakeholders, whether they are funders, multilateral agencies, governments, publishers, teachers or students. We want each of them to see us as we really are: unpretentious, open, modern, rigorous, pro-active, inspirational and professional. In fact, how we are perceived can have an incredible practical value as we often have limited and sporadic personal contact with some very critical partners. Over time it is important to us that they retain a positive, genuine and credible perception of us. This, of course, depends upon what we do, but the logo is the signature that we enter with and that which we leave behind.
Both David and I have some experience of re-branding having led the design of the new visual identities at our former employers–myself at ESADE and David at Amazon. There is often an enormous amount of work needed to achieve clear and incisive thinking on organizational needs and respective strategic priorities. And to translate all of this thinking to a visual identity you need a great branding agency as a partner. We were so very lucky to find Caselli Associates, a group of talented, tenacious and creative people.
After several rounds where visual solutions were presented, discounted and or refined, we unanimously agreed on the new and soon-to-be launched logo. Make sure you watch this space!