“A heart? oh, yah I can see that now” is the reaction I most enjoy when explaining our logo. As we searched for something to represent best not just what we do but who we are as Compasio, we always came back to the phrase we’ve come to use regularly “the heart of Compasio”
You wouldn’t believe how many hearts hit the floor and how many times we abandoned the notion trying to fit a long used swirly-cutesy symbol that fits valentines cards more than the adventure we live. Finally a fictional story was the only way to convey what we were after, a bit more input and the brush strokes of our talented graphics buddy Christopher and we had it.
I wanted to share the email that helped move us all forward when we were stalled and kept us on track. It will help bring out the meaning of the simple brush stokes you see. Enjoy!
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Subject: Re: A bit closer?
Date: March 22, 2008 10:38:11 PM GMT-04:00
Christopher …. the previous one has me. 99.47% which means that brush stroke is pretty much a go.
1- It represents the Heart of Compasio but with an abstractness that takes a second glance to catch that it is a heart.
2- Rough, Natural, Innocent, scribbled in a hurry – says a whole bunch to me about the people we are most hoping to help- refugee/children/at-risk.
3- Still looks awesome in a badge which means portability (totally cool like a tribal sign or something -on par with ‘the hand’
4- Joane loves it, which means if I say any different, I get the couch.
The <alternative design> still tells less of our story than one that is composed naturally with a stroke, scratch, scribble, smear etc… Here is what I am picturing.
Forced from their home by an angry mob, the mother, newly widowed with her three children were wary of whom they could trust in this new place, still under rule by the mad Roman monster. As they approach the first man, a vendor, they are met with a distasteful look, greed glared from his eyes knowing that he could well take advantage of this displaced little family, eyeing their meager possessions, the lad would fetch a good piece at the next slavers auction, the mother and daughters, well… there were other markets for them.
Suddenly from the side another man speaks out the word “Friends”, “Can I help you”, steering them away from the other hell bent vendor and into the shade of a local stable. Seeing the scared and yet hopeful look in their eyes, and sensing something more, the man scratches a simple curve into the dirt with his foot. The widow’s son, remembering his father’s teachings, finishes the crude symbol, an opposing arch, the sign of the fisherman. Tears fill the mothers eyes, knowing she has found family, knowing that she could trust this kindness.
Refugee children, escaping through the jungle, “ahead is a safe place” were their father’s last words as he disappeared back into the smoke of the burning village, “you will know by it’s mark”, a sign known only by the underground. He had handed them a piece of crumpled paper as they fled the oncoming soldiers. They knew that when they found this sign, they would be somewhere safe, and be cared for. On the paper, smeared in haste, dirt and blood, two simple strokes, the sign of the heart, . This is what they would look for.
I want to explore the above rawness and realness in our logo…. strokes are done by hand, they are intimate, they are personal, they can be done by refugee children, freedom fighters and concerned campus advocates alike.
We may have to sacrifice some cutting edge stuff to tell our story but we may in turn end up with something of an enduring symbol that communicates who we always want to be.