Led by the National NeighborWorks Association — an organization that “unites housing and community development practitioners to advocate for affordable housing and economic opportunities” — and supported by over 190 housing and community development organizations at the national and local level, Home Matters is a new national initiative launched yesterday on Capitol Hill that “aims to unite America around the essential role that Home plays as the bedrock for thriving lives, families, and a stronger nation.” Its goal is to raise awareness of the importance of “Home” by educating, bringing disparate organizations and industries together, rallying local leaders and mobilizing the public, encouraging policymakers to protect and support Home and related initiatives, raising funds and increasing investments to sustain the work that makes Home a reality for more Americans, and promoting and honoring the extraordinary impact of Home. All in all, a good thing, considering how screwed up some homes — of all economic and social classes — can be. The initiative’s identity has been designed by Brooklyn, NY-based OrangeYouGlad working under the direction and coordination of New York-based Ideon who set the branding strategy and story.
To sum up the design in one word: Bold. Bold was our remit from the beginning. The housing and community development industry tends not to market itself, and NNA wanted to go beyond the fragmentation and details of what they do to declare that Home Matters. Plain and simple.
The hand-drawn mark is meant to evoke the authenticity and comfort of Home, as if it were jotted down at the kitchen table. It emphasizes the personal and grassroots nature of the Home Matters movement. OrangeYouGlad and Ideon worked with Ian Brignell, the letterer, to refine the original concept of a hand-drawn mark. It was important to capture a sense of authenticity and humanness. We also wanted to suggest a sense of importance and urgency about the importance of Home. Refining the lettering style to bold and emotive but not “panicky/frightful” was a crucial step. We focused on having the correct stroke width to be friendly enough, and then a combination of upper and lower case letters (in a natural handwriting style) with small suggestions of pen motion and subtle ligatures for the final logo. Whenever possible, the logo will be in reverse of either a vibrant mosaic background or solid brand color. We want the logo itself to be surrounded by vibrancy, and preferably not boxed in or isolated apart from the visual environment we create for it.
— Provided text by Ideon
The mosaic patterns themselves are representative of all the multiple facets of Home. Home is more than the roof over our heads; it influences so many aspects of our lives and our communities (and our nation). Home is a source of energy and inspiration for individuals, but also a critical driver of social progress. It is also a building block of so many important things—Health, Education, Public Safety, the Economy and Success.
— Provided text by Ideon
The new logo is a very handsome and well done piece of lettering. I am usually against the combination of upper and lower case letters in the same word, as is the case here with the “E” at the end of “Home” but it being the proper weight and going with the flow makes it work. Conceptually, the idea of a hand-drawn mark makes sense although I wonder if it lacks the gravitas that a nationally-advocating organization needs. But I do like that they chose to emphasize the human nature of the endeavor as opposed to a boring, Washington-esque logo that would play well to policy makers and high-rolling donors. The one big disconnect in the identity is the application and the mosaic pattern. I just don’t get it. Or, well, I get it but I don’t think it’s appropriate nor that it serves to carry any kind of useful message. Sure, it grabs your attention visually and it looks like fun but the initiative deserves more. Actually, it deserves less: a more minimal or targeted supporting identity would allow the logo to become more memorable and embeddable as a signal of home. Nonetheless, a promising start for a worthy task.