Intoduction // Justification
In September of 2017, the Students’ Union in IADT ran a contest to design a logo for their effort in the Students for Repeal movement. This is part of a larger campaign that has gained traction in recent years to repeal the 8th amendment in Ireland; an amendment that prevents women in Ireland from access to abortion under almost any circumstance. Ireland has the most restrictive abortion laws of any country in Europe and the REPEAL campaign is attempting to change that.
Research and Concept
I listened to an excellent interview with one of my favourite graphic designers, Michael Bierut, where he spoke about designing the logo for Hillary Clinton in such a way that it could point to something or change to fit the context it was placed in. This blew my mind and opened up a whole world of “logo systems” for me. The idea that a logo can change to communicate a larger message was really cool to me.
The referendum is about allowing people choice. I played around with the words “choose” and “choice” and looked at synonymous words. The logo was to be put on badges and stickers and worn by students around campus and at marches, so I liked the idea that there would be different versions of the logo that would all contribute to the message of the campaign, while still being easily identifiable as part of the campaign.
Execution of Concept
I realised that “IADTSU” (abbreviation of IADT Students Union) was 6 letters, as was “safety” and “rights”. These were words that I (and research) suggested are synonymous with the repeal of the 8th amendment. I decided to place the words on a 6x3 grid, allowing space between the letters. This was a nod to the collective nature of the campaign; individual students and activists coming together for a broader cause. I thought that the letters in space while still being readable would mirror that.
Fonts and Colours
I chose the font Urbana Italic for the logo. I thought it had a friendly yet strong characteristic to it. Also, the famous “REPEAL” branding uses a heavy-set geometric font and I didn’t want it to be too similar. I opted for a gradient in the background because I felt that it represented how this issue is not black or white; there are more reasons than we can know of why someone would need this healthcare, but ultimately, there needs to be rights and safety for everyone in that situation. The gradient represents the complicated moral and philosophical arguments underpinning the referendum; it has been pushed to the back as there needs to be safety and rights for citizens of this country regardless of their situation.
My work was chosen as the winner of the contest due to the simplicity and the execution of its concept. The design was printed on badges, stickers and hoodies which are sold in the SU with the price being donated to the Abortion Rights Campaign Ireland. I am delighted that my work would be used to campaign for something so important and I have been humbled by the support the design received. Researching for the project was extremely informative and rewarding, as was working with the SU on the campaign. The referendum will take place on May 25th.