Seeing Jack in action on the streets, I have a deeper understanding of Veterans Christian Charity’s needs and goals in a logo design.
His initial iteration of a logo included a shade of green. While likely intended to be the army green, it was a bit too cool and vibrant for that. Jack was not married to that first shade of green but liked the idea of using army green. In my research of other veteran-related charities, I noticed they overwhelmingly lean to the patriotic color palette and included a yellow gold for accent. Well, this charity is anything but typical. I too wanted to be patriotic with the design. The colors had to be more unique. I chose the army green and several other green and yellowish tones to soften the otherwise very dull main color. I added orange for its optimistic energy and close relationship with the color red (from the patriotic palette).
Designing the logo mark
I started with a dove, oddly enough. I wanted to emphasize the Christian aspect as much as the veteran aspect of the charity. The dove was from some logos that were rejected last year for a church charity. Why not start there? I also immediately created a star because that’s the first patriotic element everyone thinks of and sees. I worked on merging those two concepts and based the work off of another project with a bird and star from 5 years ago that was also rejected. I know I couldn’t have a super busy logo. Too many elements would just clutter and become unmemorable. While I was hoping to incorporate a person into the design, I was skeptical of being able to achieve balance and cleanliness with so many elements. After a beautiful merge of the dove and star, I did notice that it was missing something. I began playing with shadows on the right side of the star to create more weight on that side. That’s when the roofline emerged. Without much thought to incorporating a home, it evolved into a unique design element. It was subtle but necessary.
Overall, the design on this particular logo moved very quickly. While I know this one did not fall into place on its own, that is how it felt. Everything just flowed naturally from one step to the next. I have very few concept files saved and those that are saved are all very close iterations of the final logo mark design.
Incorporating the text
No. Nothing army, military, stenciled, distressed. That’s too predictable, which also means it’s not unique. Besides these veterans need respect and to be shown that they deserve something clean, stabled, and even regal. I chose a classic serif font that offered multiple variations, including regular, bold, italic, and bold italic–Palatino. It’s clean but chiseled. It’s not too formal or too casual. It’s welcoming. It’s been around for a long time, so it’s classic.
Throughout this blog post, I’ve mentioned briefly the symbolism within the logo design. But, let’s recap in order to understand the logo in its entirety.
- Dove: The dove symbolizes Christianity and peace.
- “From the flood story of Genesis 6—9. In Genesis 8:8—12. Noah sends out a dove to see how far the flood waters have receded. When it brought back an olive leaf, so Noah could see that God’s punishment was over and life had begun again on the earth.”–Biblical Archeology
- We want this same feeling of knowing the battle is over for these vets. And, one day, it will be safe to return home…even if it’s to a new home.
- Star: The star is a symbol of patriotism and reflected in the American flag and other iconographic representations. Why the star? It’s gleamering light shines on the path in the dark. Therefore, when a star shines, we gain knowledge. We can see clearly both metaphoically and literally. The star with the dove passing in front of it shines the light on His truth, God’s promise of eternal love and life. The star rising over the rooftop symbolizes a rising hope of an earhtly home and knowledge of an eternal home on heaven.
- Rooftop: The rooftop is the part of the house that protects from rain, sun, and snow. While alone it is an incomplete shelter, added to a solid foundation and four walls, it is the feature that is most protective. It is a shield…a shield against the elements.
While the star is very much predictable as a design element, it is mostly portrayed with an eagle and stripes, not a dove and a rooftop chevron. Therefore, it is intended to be so unpredictable that it is unique and memorable.
You can see that this flowed so quickly and easily. My design logic and knowledge of the charity aside, this was a flow of divine design.