There’s an online logo competition to design a logo for the New Orleans Restoration Fund. I found out about it just yesterday and since the deadline is 9th November for submissions, I’ve got my design gears churning – as always, I wanted to blog about it too!

I read up about New Orleans – its people, typical way of life, stories from the hurricane disaster and other anecdotes that I found on the web – to build a base on which to design the logo. The competition website also mentions that “…the fund will provide for the basic human needs of the people of New Orleans and will ensure that the cultural vitality and artistic identity of the city endures“.

I am currently working on the preliminary line drawings and will be posting them as updates sometime soon.

UPDATE I: 05 November 2005

The first submission is the following logo [ the image is followed by a short brief of what the submission e-mail said with regards to explaining the meaning of the logo ]:

BRIEF for the meaning of the logo:

It is a symbolized form of the acronym NORF. The “N” depicts a shelter, something or someone that protects and covers.

The “O” is under the “N” depicting people who need shelter and people who will be protected and whose lives will be restored. The “O” is shown as a green/blue ball, which is supposed to depict the earth afloat in water [ even after the hurricane, people have been positive and hope floats ] – the blue lines extending out of the “O” are supposed to depict “arms” for a hug that also convey safety and protection – the “O” also means the people who will be donating to the NORF – hence the extending arms. The “O” itself could be used as a singular symbol for the NORF. The highlights on the “O” are supposed to depict “light” – that NORF will bring light to the lives of people.

The typography is rounded and soft to depict compassion and to convey a welcoming gesture.

The colors green and blue are also nature’s colors and hence welcoming and soothing. Green is also the color of prosperity. When this color combination will be used on a white background, it will also cultivate a meaning of peace.

The green/blue ball also has a same stroke as the letters “N”, “R” and “F” so that the “O” is also recognized as being part of the logo typography and the name is not misread as only “NRF”.

UPDATE II: 6th November, 2005

This is my second submission – I like the first one better though! But I wanted to put across this message too [ the brief is below the image ].

BRIEF for the meaning of the logo:

I wanted to bring the focus to the word “new” – not only is it part of the name “New Orleans” – it can be used to bring focus to the phrase “New beginnings”. The aim of the restoration fund would be exactly that – “new beginnings”. The 10-pointed star can be used to depict a “10-point” plan that the NORF might have – the number of points can be made to correspond with the number of points in the plan. Otherwise the significance of the star is that people will instantly recognize it as the “new” aspect like it has been used in other commercial advertisements. A star also stands for brightness, something new, guiding light and constant evolution.

The various color gradations comprising of oranges and yellows are supposed to depict warmth, energy, passion and enthusiam. The various straight-line cuts which create the gradations in the color depict the various facets of the restoration effort that need to be carried out – intricacies and complexities that are part of people’s lives and also part of the restoration effort. One curved cut in the color gradations also ensures the inclusion of the “soft” approach.

Two different fonts have been used – one is a script font used for “New Orleans”, which creates the artisitic effect – the NORF is supposed to be looking at ensuring that the cultural vitality and artistic identity of the city endures AND the other is a more “technical” looking font, which gives the impression of “work” – the background logistics that need to be managed in order to make a restoration a success.

UPDATE III: 6th November, 2005

This is my third submission. I wanted to try a different style with this particular logo design – with a symbol and the full text of “New Orleans Restoration Fund. Read the brief after the image!

BRIEF for the meaning of the logo:

Two black bars signifying support. Black is also a color for loyalty and strength. The glint on the black bars is supposed to signify light, brightness and hope – there are two gradations and that signifies the depth of the effort. Also, the gradations are a mix of curvy as well as straight lines – this is supposed to signify the soft and emotional support as well as the logistical background support by the New Orleans Restoration Fund.

The green ball is supposed to signify people as well as the earth. Green is the color of prosperity as well as money and freshness, which further signifies something new – to rebuild New Orleans. The green ball is afloat on the blue stroke. The blue stroke is supposed to give meaning to the green ball – the person/earth is emerging out of the water. The light fading blue below the blue stroke also signifies the diminishing on the force of water.

The green ball is being supported by the black bars – which is supposed to mean that the NORF effort is there to support the city of New Orleans.

UPDATE IV: 7th November, 2005

This is my fourth submission. I wanted to use the symbolism of water and tried to design a very literal logo – something that clearly and visually says “New Orleans Restoration Fund’. Read the brief after the image!

BRIEF for the meaning of the logo:

Simplistic representation of the idea behind NORF. It is a fund [ hence the plus symbol which also means “aid” ] for the restoration [ hence the bricks used to create the plus symbol ] of New Orleans, which was hit by a hurricane [ hence the symbol of water in front of the bricks – but the bricks are visible behind the water to signify that hope was submerged but is still there ].

Apart for representing water, the color blue also represents the togetherness and binding within the community – how water can be destructive but also holds the planet together. Similarly, instead of a red or teracotta color, the bricks are more toward the color brown – this is to signify strength like the trunk of a tree. Our basic building material in the early civilizations was wood and since this is going to be a restoration for New Orleans, it is going to be a new beginning.

The plus sign clearly says that it is something to do with aid – so with one glance at the logo, people can recognize that it would be for NORF [ or something related ] – this will increase recognition and pull value for the Fund.

UPDATE IV: 8th November, 2005

This is my fifth submission – and probably the last – submissions close on the 9th and anyways I’m pretty fried trying to come up with something new. With this logo design, I wanted to experiment with a different style of design – leaning more toward an illustration-based drawing. Read the brief after the image!

BRIEF for the meaning of the logo:

Like the sun rises each day – each day is a new day – New Orleans and the people of New Orleans have to make a new beginning and NORF will assist them in making that new beginning. The sun is an often-used but at the same time – powerful – symbol of hope and strength. It is a life-giver and most people recognize it as that. This logo will be easily recognized and the emotions attached with it will be easily absorbed too.

Another important feeling encouraged by this design is – brightness – the brightness that a smile brings about – the sun is shown to be a smiling character in many cartoons thus that metaphor can be carried forward here.

The various highlights in the sun as well as the variety of shapes in its rays/flames suggests that people from varying backgrounds will be coming together under the head of NORF to assist the people of varying backgrounds in New Orleans. The various color gradations and highlights represent the variety of assistance that will be give – emotional, financial, reconstruction, cultural etc.

The blue represents water – since New Orleans is going to “rise from water” – evident visual representation to put the idea forth very simply.

UPDATE V: 15th November

Well I did not win it.
The results can be seen on the GlobalInheritance website. They will also be putting up a gallery for all submitted designs [ the link will take you to a page not found because it will be up only on 1st December ].