Established in 1983, Helseutvalget (loosely translated as “Health Committee”), is a politically independent, non-profit, free service in Norway that promotes disease prevention for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. Their most recent effort is a DIY HIV test that is free, anonymous and easy-to-use at home, which complements their other services that include a chat support, workshops, and community outreach. At the end of 2016, Helseutvalget introduced a new logo, with the identity been rolling out over the course of 2017, designed by Oslo, Norway-based Bielke&Yang.
Because they work with sexual health and issues that are perceived as very personal, it’s important that their services also are relevant to those who don’t necessarily live openly as gay or lesbian. These were the main reasons behind their rebranding; a refresh of their visual identity, website and printed materials, and gathering all initiatives under one profile. They wanted a modern, welcoming expression, lowering the threshold for contact—and hoping to achieve this through a more a more inclusive and friendly identity.
With this in mind, when developing the new visual identity we wanted to focus on interaction and dialogue between people. The new logo symbol shows two people who care for and love each other, while forming an H for Helseutvalget. This visual expression has been developed further in the form of secondary icons and animations, sub-initiative logos, and the different steps of Helseutvalgets new HIV-test in close collaboration with Dutch illustrator Hedof. The illustrations add a playfulness to content perceived as difficult and personal. The new visual identity is flexible enough to be used in corporate situations as well as festivals like Oslo Pride or similar events.
Bielke&Yang provided text
The old logo had all the subtlety of an anthropomorphic condom with a bow tie running excitedly. To its credit, it was somewhat charming but it didn’t quite inspire confidence or trust, much less portray a serious organization devoted to an important cause. The new logo features a fantastic icon/monogram that displays an “H” made up of two figures hugging (also, possibly and most likely, shagging) and it’s great. It instantly creates a sense of connection and care, amplified by the soft, pink human tones. The wordmark is simple but has a few quirks (the “g” and “a” curl a little more than usual) that make it different from the usual sans serif.
The simple identity elements are complemented by a groovy range of illustrations by Breda, Netherlands-based Hedof, that cover multiple needs for the organization: from very specific individual illustrations of how to operate the HIV test kit to more “brand”-building illustrations like the one directly above for the brochure that hints at the diversity of people that Helseutvalget wants to connect with.
All the materials are nicely and consistently designed, with the flexibility of some applications being more overt (condoms!) or more subdued (lapel pin) as necessary. Overall, this strikes a great balance of being approachable and relatively fun with a serious and concerned attitude towards the issue.