Established in 1959 as the Australian Drug Foundation, the newly renamed Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) is a non-government, non-profit organization based in Melbourne that works to prevent alcohol and drug harm across Australia through designing and delivering a range of community programs, services, and resources. Last year, ADF introduced a new identity designed by Saffron.
With the help of Saffron, they adopted a new name - from “The Australian Drug Foundation” to “Alcohol and Drug Foundation”, keeping the same acronym but highlighting the misconception that alcohol and medicine aren’t really drugs, when they are actually the major cause of addiction problems in the country.
With a change in name, the ADF embarked on a path to much greater public visibility, requiring a new identity system that was approachable, flexible and able to communicate the brand’s new purpose: Preventing harm in Australia.
The old logo was hard to decipher not in that there was something to read between the lines but in that it was simply hard to read and make sense of what was going on with it. The “adf” monogram was somewhat successful in communicating the disruptive effect of drug and alcohol addiction and a feeling of discomfort but its proportions were very odd. The wordmark, wow… some kind of knock-off of Keedy Sans which, even if they had used Keedy Sans, it would have been awkward but this was taking it to 11.
The new logo manages to find the best of the old one through the disjointed structure of the letters to create a more welcoming monogram where the feeling is of things coming together rather than being broken apart. I’m not a big fan of the “aDF” unicase approach but I can see how an uppercase “A” would have been hard to make work. The logo can maybe feel a little too playful but keeping it all black adds some seriousness. The wordmark (and all the typography) is in Gotham Rounded that makes the organization feel non-threatening. The flip side is that it’s maybe one too many rounded things.
The refreshed visual identity is a literal deconstruction and reconstruction of its predecessor, a homage to the great work achieved by the organisation to date. Its component pieces express the concept of collaboration between the different agents needed to achieve the ADF’s goals.
These pieces can be used to build almost anything and communicate any message, allowing the identity to reach across all touchpoints with flexibility. Meaningful use of photography, iconography, animation and simple copy create a deep yet uncomplicated system that stands out from the crowd.
The pieces are a cool-looking device to establish some graphic continuity across applications. I like how they are used big in relation to the logo and other typography. They also have a nice versatility in how they can be used in abstract compositions as the brochure above or to construct more literal shapes as in the video or the icons shown further down below.
The applications can feel slightly cold and clinical, which is not entirely a bad thing as you do want a certain sense of this organization enabling a cleaner and healthier lifestyle but the stark black, white, and red color palette (in large doses) can look like a hospital. I’m undecided on the roundedness of everything… I like the commitment to it but I wonder if it needs something to contrast it, like a heavy-duty condensed sans or some bold serif somewhere. Overall, this identity establishes a confident, approachable, and put-together personality for the organization.