Every so often in advertising we’ll come across clients whose work positively impacts the lives of at risk people. These are the non-profits, individuals and groups of people that exist for the sole reason, to help others who are going through difficult situations. That was the case when we were approached by the Women’s Rural Resource Centre, an organization based out of Strathroy, Ontario who work to help women and families who are transitioning from abusive relationships towards reclaiming their lives. “We’re much more than just a shelter,” they explained, “we are a community and a movement.” Feminists, social warriors, moms, daughters, fathers, and sons, the WRRC had outgrown their original purpose of just helping those in crisis. They had become educators and activists. They were young, fiery, and passionate about improving their community. Gone were the days of stigma and denying abuse. The conversation had extended beyond the closed doors and walls of their home. And their brand, logo, and website needed to reflect that. We only had two directives: no lavender, and absolutely no flowers.
The challenge then, to modernize the WRRC in a way that didn’t turn off their longtime donors and council members, and to create a brand and logo that not only represented the journey they had gone through, but looked forward to the organization they were evolving into.
Through the process of meeting with them, listening to their stories, understanding their challenges, collaborating, and helping them realize their vision, we have done just that. We couldn’t be more proud to share their new logo, along with the reasoning and rationale that went into every stroke and into every colour.
WRRC LOGO DESIGN
Many aspects of the WRRC vision and culture were taken into consideration during the development of their new logo and word mark. Both their history as an organization and the ideals they embody were critical, but most importantly, their logo needed to embody the personality traits that they had defined for their brand – Compassionate, Progressive, Bold, Creative, Brave while reflecting a modern, clean and minimal design aesthetic.
The main icon was created by taking the two letter R’s from the centre of their organization’s acronym and combining them to create a single character with two states of mind. They are positioned back to back. One sitting lower, reflecting on the past and the other sitting elevated, looking towards the future. This represents the positive and uplifting journey women experience when they become involved with WRRC in any capacity. Whether in need of physical shelter or simply a place to discover a community of women inspiring other women, the WRRC has something to offer. It also reflects the inner journey a person goes through as they grow within themselves, respecting and acknowledging who they have been while they work towards the goal of who they want to be. Some may see the silhouette of a woman facing to the left and/or the subtle shape of a women holding a child facing to the right – both bring relevancy and warmth to the image. Finally, the upward momentum created by the figures serves to underline our overarching goal of raising women up and promoting feminism as a movement.
The fonts used in the new brand were selected to pay homage to their organization’s history while at the same time firmly establishing their stand as a progressive and modern community. The letter forms used to create the icon are from a traditional serif font, giving a nod to the more traditional services offered by their women’s shelter. The letterforms are unmistakably feminine, with rich strong curves – without being frilly or overly girly. This serves to remind us that women are powerful. The logo-mark did not need masculine lettering to project strength, just as women do not need to emulate men to prove or assert their power. All of this is juxtaposed by the modern sans serif font used for the word-mark. It is clean, simple and modern, exuding professionalism and establishing WRRC’s position as an up-and-coming leader in the movement for women’s rights.
Finally, the colours of the logo serve to underline the progression from one state to another. The blue-teal colour represents the point in a woman’s life when she first comes in contact with WRRC. Whether learning about our services from a distance, or taking steps toward becoming involved with our programs. Although both colours are positive and uplifting, the teal-blue sets a slightly more somber tone that illustrates a person with challenges to sort through, or perhaps a closed off mind set. When a woman comes to WRRC, the way she sees the world and herself as a women is changed. This may be through accessing shelter services and counselling or simply working in the community garden and finding a space in which to thrive. In contrast, the bright yellow exudes joy and triumph reflecting the elation of personal breakthroughs and a transition to a more positive state of mind. Both colours are set in a jewel tone palette which will be utilized through all other assets developed for the WRRC brand. These earthy yet vibrant colours reflect nature, both literally through their community garden but also metaphorically, drawing on ideas of Mother Nature and what it means to nurture personal growth. The logo conjures up feelings of community, collaboration, support and strength. It sets the stage for the next evolution of the Women’s Rural Resource Centre and where they aspire to go as an organization.
We can’t wait to see where the WRRC takes their new branding and are honoured to have been a part of their journey.