It all started with research. When we were tasked with designing an identity for the Youth Focus Africa Foundation (YOFAFO), we were thrilled to take on such a creative and meaningful project but knew it was necessary to be informed and knowledgeable before jumping into the design. After all, strategy isn’t one of our core values for nothing.
We began with the background information. YOFAFO is a non-profit organization in the Republic of Uganda that aims to empower women and children through education, health and micro-finance programs. The organization was founded by Valence Lutaisire in 2005, and works in partnership with three communities with the goal of building strong foundations of trust, community involvement and accountability. Based on the work that YOFAFO does and our intake session with the client, we determined that we needed to emphasize that the organization is empowering, trustworthy, experienced, authentic, involved and progressive.
A separate but related part of our research process involved pulling together logos from similar organizations to draw out common themes. Our design team found that the logos primarily had one of two elements:
Expression and spirit brought into the typography with bright colors, even when no images are used.
Symbolism of people working together, commonly linked together or gathered in a circle.
The research then went a step further. It not only mattered how the colors felt to us, but what they actually mean in Uganda where YOFAFO does its work. Here’s what we learned:
Blue — peacefulness, harmony and love
Green — vegetation, planting, harvesting, growth, spiritual renewal
Gold — royalty, wealth, high status, glory, spiritual purity
Maroon — the color of mother earth; associated with healing
From there, we had enough information to put together some preliminary designs for the client. The logo that YOFAFO selected used the symbolism of people to appeal to donors and volunteers. The circular symbol represents the community and the teamwork aspect of the organization, while the roughness of the logo symbolizes the hands-on work and the tangible trades that YOFAFO helps with. And if you look closely, you’ll see that each person in the circle is different, representing how each person has an individualized experience.
And with that, we stepped back to look at the creative results and felt a wave of appreciation for our design team (as we do every day of the year). But the story isn’t over. Stay tuned for a YOFAFO website in the works!