Launched this month, and with some time before Cancer Awareness Month (October), Give-A-Care is a new line of products for young women with breast cancer created by Rethink Breast Cancer, a Canada-based charity whose mission is to empower young people (40 and under) worldwide who are concerned about and affected by breast cancer. Give-a-Care is meant to “recognize the communication gap between women with breast cancer and the people who care about them” with “products [that] are not only a supportive gift, but their names and branding help to educate people about what a loved one with breast cancer is going through” as Alison Lawler-Dean, VP, Marketing + Communication, Rethink Breast Cancer, explains in the provided press release. 100% of the proceeds of the products will go to advance the charity’s work and mission. The identity and product naming were created by Canadian agency lg2.
More than just a care package they can actually use, each product is named in a bold way that helps to educate about what a loved one with breast cancer is actually going through. The collection includes products such as the “My-emotions-are-so-out-of-whack-that-evenmy- skin-is-being-too SENSITIVE HAND CREAM”, the “All-the-slow-jams-and-silk-sheets-in-the-worldcouldn’t- do-it-for-me-right-now-I-need LUBE”, and the “I-know-this-hospital-waiting room-like-the-back-ofmy HAND SANITIZER.” [The] line consists of 22 unique products that range from lemon candies that mask the metallic taste chemo can cause, to a stylish zip-front hoodie that’s easy to get on and off after surgery.
In this case, the logo takes a back seat to the packaging and it would have been easy to do a basic wordmark to tuck away into the corners or backs of the products. Instead, the logo got enough attention to stand on its own as a tight little unit in a circle where they have taken advantage of the fact that the two words in the name have four letters and are split by a single “A”. It gives the logo a nice symmetry, balance, and sturdiness. We will have to forgive kerning in “GIVE” because that’s an impossible kerning situation on a curve. But the overall impression of the logo is strong and confident.
The packaging for each product follows a simple formula: long hyphenated name, quirky flat illustration, and logo. Very basic but effective in adapting to any surface and size. I’ll talk first about the execution and then conclude with trying to get into the more subjective aspect of the project. The names are visually split with a condensed sans serif set in uppercase that communicates any of the number of physical and emotional issues faced by cancer patients and then punctuated by the product descriptor in a bold lowercase serif — this clearly separates the two elements but perhaps too much. It becomes hard to read the whole thing as a single sentence, which is what gives the a-bunch-of-words-strung-together-with-hyphens its effectiveness. The low-fi illustrations are charming and work nicely in contrast with the typography.
The product names are what bring this project to life, acknowledging the realities young women with cancer face that perhaps add a moment of levity to their situation (although I have absolutely no way of what it would feel like to receive these so I will stop at assumptions there.) To the folks that purchase these, though, it’s a simplified gateway into understanding what they are going through. I don’t know if these products are the answer — because I am neither a woman nor (knock on wood) have cancer, so I can’t project as if this were a logo for a university or a start-up or whatever — but I can appreciate the effort to make something that looks and sounds real and that takes the edge off of some of the walking-on-eggshells sentiments associated with caring for someone with cancer (or any other major illness). Mostly, like the name of the products, it’s really all about giving a care.