Identity Crisis

January 13, 2009

The title is misleading. We know who we are and we know what we’re about.

But finding a logo to represent Isis Initiative, Inc. is proving a beautiful challenge.

A logo is a symbol, an icon that speaks in a subtle, elegant language; and, when successful, its message sprints right past your optics and into your subconscious and plays with your emotions and memories. When it works well, I think the art of branding and marketing with image/icon and type is quite Jungian.

At first, I was rushing the process. Creating a nonprofit from scratch is like the magician’s act where a guy keeps adding spinning plates on top of wobbling sticks, racing back and forth giving a little energy to each to keep them all spinning.

I felt we needed a logo before we could have business cards (another plate) and a Web site (another plate), even this blog (ha!) (another plate), our fundraising letters (another plate.) You get the idea.

I felt the logo was the sine qua non, the thing on which we built our entire foundation. In a sense, it’s true; however, rushing an identity is a bad idea.

I believe the logo must evoke our narrative and create a sense of community and affinity. I wanted something feminine and quietly powerful. I had an image in my mind: a batik that I bought in Uganda in 1993.

Founder and President Cheryl Hatch purchased this batik print by artist Kabugo Lukoma Kampala, Uganda in 1993. It serves as a visual evocation of her sense of Isis Initiative, Inc. and its mission. For her, it represents women gathering at a well or in a market to gossip, share wisdom, comfort, and heal one another.

Founder and President Cheryl Hatch purchased this batik print by artist Kabugo Lukoma in Kampala, Uganda in 1993.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I see this image every morning when I wake up and every night before I fall asleep. It speaks me of the power and beauty of matriarchy and sisterhood. It serves as a visual evocation of my sense of Isis Initiative, Inc. and its mission. It reminds me of women gathering at a well or in a market to gossip, share wisdom, comfort, and heal one another.

Those three lean women leaning into and on one another were my inspiration for Isis Initiative, Inc. Three tall I’s. Three tall women.

I envisioned an earthy color palette that would ground our work, literally and figuratively, on the earth and for the earth.  And the type, ah, type. The history and artistry of type. It’s an elusive and magical thing, type.  There I defer to the better angels of graphic design.

A graphic designer pulls all the elements together: the message, the emotion, the color palette into a simple, yet nuanced and layered combination of symbol and type. I am not a graphic designer. I am lucky to have friends who are gifted designers. Several have volunteered to help us. 

Like the U2 song: we still haven’t found what we’re looking for.

I’ll know it when I see it.

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3 Responses to “Identity Crisis”

  1. Alison Dyer Says:

    Hi Cheryl,

    After I read the article in the newspaper, I had to find out more about III. Read this entire blog. It is inspiring. Going to forward it to some women friends.
    all the best,
    Alison

  2. Alison Says:

    Hi Cheryl

    Beautiful batik – I love the image. I’m looking forward to seeing your logo when it emerges – don’t rush it, it’ll come when it’s good and ready! Great to hear you’ve got some artists helping you to design 🙂
    Alison (a different Alison !)

  3. Melanthia Says:

    The batik is gorgeous. I’m digging the logos that Sam has put forth. Great job!


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