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Ve’ahavta’s humanitarian light shines through new logo (Design Edge Magazine)

DEC_Brandsv5By Jef Catapang, March 24, 2015, Design Edge Canada 

After 18 years with the same logo, the time was right for humanitarian organization Ve’ahavta to try on something new. It would have to be something that could express Ve’ahavta’s Jewish identity and unique founding ideals, while also keeping away from cliched faith-based imagery.

The final solution is a symbol comprised of overlapping circles. The yellow and black touches recall the original identity, while the blue is meant to evoke the Jewish community. The design comes courtesy of Toronto’s Sherri Gallowitz from G Strategic, who specializes in design for the non-profit, education, arts and culture sectors.

Founded in 1994, Ve’ahavta was a Jewish humanitarian response to the worldwide apathy surrounding the genocide in Rwanda, “which echoed world response to the holocaust perpetuated against Europe’s Jews in WW2,” reads the redesign case study.

One of Ve’ahavta’s challenges has been maintaining its Jewish identity and also communicating that it works to alleviate poverty for all, not just the Jewish community. Its name is from the Hebrew “ve’ahavta lere’acha kamocha,” or “and you should love your friend as you love yourself.”

This is embodied in the updated symbol by green overlap areas, which represent the “common ground” of diversity. The centre of the symbol forms a stylized Star of David, showing that “the light of the Jewish soul” of Ve’ahavta shines through its work.

The old tagline, “The Canadian Jewish Humanitarian & Relief Committee,” confused many about the organization’s goals. The rebrand carries a new tagline, “A Jewish Humanitarian Response to Poverty.”

The redesign process included stakeholder consultation with senior staff, supporters, partners and volunteers. A new website also launched recently, designed by Lewis Robinovitch with the same palette of blue, yellow and green.

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