What’s in a logo? Visual expression of core values

In addition to my volunteer roles on non-profit boards and at the University of Calgary, I also run a small business. Through this business, I offer my knowledge and skills to a variety of organizations as a board member, consultant or keynote speaker. Past professional experiences have provided me with unique perspectives and abilities – the sharing of these with other people is something that I love to do.

This year I finally got around to designing a business logo – something that was probably long overdue. I desired a visual means to introduce myself to clients and to symbolize my operational, technical, scientific and management expertise. Since artistic creativity is not my forte, I asked Bill Helin, a gifted artist and friend from British Columbia, if he would help. Bill is a member of the Tsimshian nation and his artwork is found in many museums and private collections. He has a knack for adapting the captivating styles of Pacific Northwest indigenous art to create emotional connections with viewers.

To kick off the design process, I met with Bill to pass on some general ideas. I described what I was looking for – a simple logo that would serve as a link between my business and my clients; something that would visually express my professional interests (innovation, exploration and education) as well as my core principles.

Bill did a nice job with the logo. He brought together images of Earth and the Moon in an aesthetically appealing way. Earth is placed prominently in the foreground of the design since it expresses my hope that business activities will be socially relevant and bring practical benefits to our planet and people, as well as profit to our organizations. Our planet is depicted without countries or borders, representing the notion that humanity and the planet are one; that everything is connected. The blue colour chosen by Bill underscores his and my desire that we be responsible stewards of our oceans, sky and fragile ecosystem.

The new logo for my business, designed by gifted artist and friend, Bill Helin.

The new logo for my business, designed by gifted artist and friend, Bill Helin.

The Moon appears behind the Earth. I like to be involved in programs that are bigger than me; that imagine future possibilities. Accordingly, the image of the Moon symbolizes the spirit of exploration and the pursuit of large, audacious dreams. I dream that astronauts will explore the inner solar system later this century. However, the Moon beckons first as a destination and will likely be a waypoint for our next generation of explorers.

Bill overlaid an intriguing design on the face of the Moon. In fact, I think I see a winged creature within the design. Cool. I liked it so much that I asked Bill to allow a hint of his beautiful design to show through the Earth, rather than be eclipsed.

A silhouette of the International Space Station passes across the face of the Earth. Flight experiences shared with my international crewmates aboard the Space Station as well as with those aboard the Shuttle and Soyuz were transformative for me and instilled an appreciation for the power of multidisciplinary teams and for collaborations across cultures.

I’m pleased with the logo and will begin using it on digital and paper products. The full design will be used on stationary and posters, and a simplified, scaled-down version will be used on business cards and social media. I hope it will well communicate my professional interests, abilities and core values to established and potential clients.

One thought on “What’s in a logo? Visual expression of core values

  1. I really like the story behind the logo! Having a brand that supports the vision of an organization is important to building the values and identity of that organization into everything it does.

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