World Vision Rebrand: A Subtle but Powerful Change in Icon Usage
DESIGNED BY: INTERBRAND, AUSTRALIA
OLD & NEW VERSION COMPARISON
"World Vision is a Christian humanitarian, development and advocacy organization devoted to improving the lives of children, families and their communities around the world. Our 42,000+ staff members working in more than 90 countries are united through our ethos, mission and shared desire for all individuals, especially children, to overcome poverty, inequality and injustice.”
(From Interbrand) With so much equity already built into the brand, World Vision was reluctant to change its logo, typeface and hero colour palette. So Interbrand repurposed them. The word mark and logo were separated for the first-ever time, with the logo – or ‘Beacon’ as it came to be called – used to draw attention to the various causes, projects and people that World Vision supports. Bold and adaptable, the Beacon acts as a guiding light for change makers, as well as a symbol of hope for those who need it most.
The updated World Vision brand could serve as a great case study about the relevance of a new logo as part of a rebranding. World Vision’s new strategic brand direction is summed up by Interbrand:
Instead of focusing on the themes of hopelessness and loss that have become a staple of the charity sector, World Vision seeks to empower and inspire.
But does that mean they need a new logo? Well, maybe not, but World Vision will be asking the logo to do more, so now is the perfect time to revisit the identity.
In looking at the new mark, the changes seem subtle, but are obvious even to a casual viewer. The primary elements and color scheme are intact, but from a technical perspective and application, the new World Vision logo is better in almost every way. The most noticeable change is the reduced prominence of the starburst (or Beacon as Interbrand refers to it). It creates a logo with much better balance and stability between the wordmark and icon. Additionally, the gradient behind the starburst has been removed. This allows greater flexibility in reproducing the icon for multiple applications. Finally, separating the “io” typographic ligature cleans up the wordmark and eliminates a competing graphical element. This design decision seems to have been one that was finalized late in the process, as some of the samples on the Interbrand page still use the previous mark.
Another major shift in the branding is the choice to use the icon as a distinct element. World Vision has gained enough brand recognition over the past 65+ years, that using the element in other formats was a logical decision to help move their message. However, while I love the choice to use a bold font for the application branding, I think the choice of Gill Sans Black is a whiff. The letterforms get a little wonky and can feel uneven at that weight.
So, as part of the rebrand, did World Vision need a new logo? No, but they definitely got a better version of the old one!