Don't discourage kids from taking up design
Michael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius in architecture

New brand identity for Starlight Children's Foundation


I don't usually comment on brand identities for charitable organizations because:

a) I like to imagine that the designers have done the work either for free or for a greatly reduced fee; and

b) I don't want to criticize an organization that does great work.


I can't help agree with Armin on Brand New and think this is a wasted opportunity, because there's some lovely design there. Look at these (what I think are) posters, for example:



They are genuinely splendid!

Compare those to this screenshot of the website...


The wordmark is set in Rodger, which I think is a nice choice for this kind of project, but the website could have been a lot more appealing than that. It's not bad, but I think those posters are much nicer.

The little person-type-figure-thing is another detail that's a missed opportunity, in that I don't think they should have used it. They're totally overused for these kinds of projects, akin to using a leaf for an environmental organization.

Michael Bierut puts it perfectly when talking about his first job as a designer:

"Without really knowing what I was doing, for my first paying job, I had contributed to a plague: the profusion of sexless, blankly cheerful little people that I have come to call Neutered Sprites. They're everywhere. Behold!

"The traditional habitat of the Sprites today, of course, is Nonprofitland. Finding them isn't hard. Look for logos for organizations dedicated to community-building, or health-supporting, or any kind of relentlessly positive thinking. There you will find these little figures by the dozens, prancing around, holding hands, embracing their families, and generally celebrating the universal themes of wellness, happiness, and goodness."

It's a great organization with very nearly a great identity. Hopefully they'll drop the sprite thingy. Actually, as I touched on yesterday, they should ask some of the kids they serve for some ideas. They might be pleasantly surprised.


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