Half The Sky is a media project aimed at focusing attention on the oppression of women and girls around the world. Based on Nicholas Kristof’s and Sheryl WuDunn’s work for the New York Times, later turned into a book, Half The Sky seeks to become a social movement through a multi-media campaign including a PBS television series, educational short films, and a social action game with Facebook. The identity has been designed by Chermayeff & Geismar’s Sagi Haviv.
The identity is workable in all of Half The Sky’s media endeavors and will be understood everywhere and in every language… In this way, it will help ensure the visual cohesion of the project’s global mission to empower women. Half The Sky’s identity delivers a positive, hopeful and powerful message about the inherent equality of women, and it is an honor to be a part of the project.
— Sagi Haviv, Chermayeff & Geismar Press Release
The name “Half The Sky” is derived from a Chinese proverb, “Women hold up half the sky,” and was clearly the foundation for the mark — an equal sign comprised of two halves of the sky. This logo demonstrates how timelessness can be found through intelligent restraint and ingenuity, a strong concept presented simply enough to communicate without crutches that will easily last for decades. While one could take issue with the lack of a one-color solution and the constraint of use presented with relying on a full-color image, the trade-off of what you get in return seems worth it.
The mark looks great in all the use cases imagined. Most importantly it is worth appreciating the time Chermayeff & Geismar took to explore a concept that can easily be localized and not lose its integrity. Being a “universally understood symbol for its core message” is probably a stretch, as I’m not sure this logo does much to explain its context or subject clearly if you’re not familiar with the proverb, however with the support of a larger media campaign this logo will easily become memorable and recognizable.