Established in 1916 along with the Federal Farm Loan Act that helped establish the Farm Credit System, Farm Credit service of Mid-America (FCSM) is an agricultural cooperative lender — owned and controlled by their customer-members — serving more than 92,500 customer-members throughout Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee through 92 offices and more than 900 employees, backed by $17.4 billion in owned and managed loan assets. In May, FCSM introduced a revised logo and brand relaunch designed by Minneapolis, MN-based Colle + McVoy.
Notes on the icon, nicknamed “The Biostar”, which was introduced in the mid 1980s:
The leaves represent the system entities including the Farm Credit associations, the Farm Credit Banks and our national support structures like the funding and services corporations.
The roots represent the grassroots support of our members and our roots in rural America and the cooperative system.
The star represents light and direction.
The color ‘green’ represents the rural nature of our business — that it is a green and growing industry that we serve.
— History page
The icon is such an ’80s logo, you can almost touch the French curve rulers and spin the drawing compass they used to draw those leaves. In other words, it’s a clunky little thing. Nonetheless, as this evolution demonstrates, you can breathe some fresh air into a graphic relic from another era — at the very least, you can save it from insanely horrible typography. The new logo isn’t terribly exciting but by contrast it is a vast and needed improvement. What FCSM has done really well is adopt a new visual language of big and bold typography that feels energetic but still conservative, keeping in tune with their main audience while elevating the way they present themselves. I wish the logo would have gotten a bit of a touch-up to make it more contemporary but the overall identity and language does a good job in rejuvenating this cooperative.