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Striking Out Cancer

Reviewed May. 5, 2010 by Armin

Industry / Health Tags /

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Logo, Before and After

Originally established by the Texas Legislature as the Texas State Cancer Hospital and the Division of Cancer Research in 1941, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center — named after Houston cotton merchant Monroe D. Anderson whose philanthropic foundation made great contributions to the center early on — is today one of the leading cancer research and treatment facilities in the world. Up to 2009, it has been as ranked No. 1 in cancer care in the “America’s Best Hospitals” survey published by U.S. News & World Report in six of the past eight years. Employing more than 17,000 people, MD Anderson treated over 96,000 patients in 2009. A new identity, introduced yesterday, aims to visualize the center’s mission, “to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation and the world.”

For only the fourth time in its 69-year history, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has updated its logo, with a bold new look that symbolizes its mission: to eradicate cancer.

The logo integrates MD Anderson’s distinctive tagline, Making Cancer History, and the long-running cancer strike-through campaign, in which survivors tell their cancer stories and draw a red line through their cancer type to mark their triumph over the disease.
Press Release

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Logo, Before and After

An abridged history of the center and where the new strike-through logo came from.

The tagline, introduced in 1996 by The Richards Group in Dallas, served as the basis for a long-running campaign where patients stroke-through their type of cancer with a red line, which now serves as the basis for the new identity, also by The Richards Group. The old logo suffered an ailment of its own, Ligaturitis, with far too many pairs of letters that were never meant to be ligaturized, so it’s nice to see a more mature typographic execution for such an important institution.

The use of the strike-through is very debatable and I’m sure there will be those that absolutely hate it and those that love it. I lean towards the latter despite being a little skeptical about the final execution of the line itself. But it’s a bold move that makes an immediate and clear point that builds on an established visual language. The flip side is that it looks a little childish somehow, as if it were a correction on a first grade test. Nonetheless, the logo is done and presented with enough conviction that it works.



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