This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.
Established in 1965 in New York as the Foundation for the South Pacific (FSP) by an Australian actress named Elizabeth Silverstein and a Marist Priest named Stanley Hosie, the nonprofit organization focused initially on helping the island nations of the South Pacific rebuild after World War II. Renamed Counterpart International (CI) in 1992 after bringing its mission — “to empower people to implement innovative and enduring solutions to social, economic and environmental challenges” — to aid after the fall of the Soviet Union. Since then, with over 300 people currently on staff and now headquartered in Arlington, VA, it has helped people in 65 countries in three key areas: economic development, food security and nutrition, and building effective governance and institutions. This month CI introduced a new identity designed by Seattle, WA-based Kite.
Since our founding in 1965, Counterpart’s mission and ultimate goal has been to have an enduring impact. Local allies are essential both to program design and implementation. Counterpart cannot succeed by working alone or in isolation; authentic collaboration is crucial and embedded in every aspect of our work.
The interwoven pattern represents Counterpart coming together with partners, funders and beneficiaries to create solid, lasting solutions to shared challenges. Like in anything woven, the work that each strand does is of equal importance and the interconnectedness creates the strength. The circular shape is a nod to our global presence.
The orange color is warm and grounded, and a color that is widely appreciated through the myriad of cultures and countries where we work. Combined with the dark grey the result is modern and crisp. Overall the visual brand makes an impact on those who see it, strengthening the position of Counterpart as a recognized global leader in development efforts.
The old logo was odd — perhaps just because of how it was colored — but it wasn’t too terrible. The new logo is more pleasant if slightly congested. There are far too many elements in one lock-up: Three different type sizes, four lines of text, one vertical rule, and an icon made up of dozens of pieces. On their own, each element is fine. The type is decent, the rule is straight, and the icon is nice to look at. The weave as a visual metaphor for partners is nothing new, but in this case there is something relevant about it, as it triggers a certain rural association of weaved baskets, or clothing items, or blankets. There is probably a second round in this logo that could simplify the amount of pieces in the weave for a less fuzzy icon as well as another look at the arrangement of all the elements to create a more concise lock-up. Nonetheless, a big improvement over the old one visually and conceptually.