Friends of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Logo Redesign

This week is pretty special. My logo for the Friends of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is being unveiled at their 16th annual Saks Fifth Avenue Key To The Cure brunch and fashion show this Thursday. (scroll down for more info!)

Each year I take on a select number of branding clients. Oh, my first love. I put a lot of thought and love into creating brands and rolling them out into cohesive experiences, so in order to focus on growing Bash I promised I would only take on a branding project if it was special, unique and gave meaning to my journey as woman business owner. 

When I was approached by a local, well-respected PR agency with the opportunity to redesign The Friends logo and help the organization turn a new leaf there was something about having an impact on the organization that I couldn't say no to. Like most, I felt an immediate connection to their cause because I have lost close family members to cancer . . . And we all know someone who has lost someone to cancer even if we haven't. I also have a respect for women coming together for something bigger than themselves. The organization has a long-standing relationship with Dana-Farber (over 30 years) and is powered by over 100 women volunteers. The Friends is it's own 501(c)3 and since 1976, they have raised over $25 million for cancer research, special programs, and patient care. Unlike some others, The Friends supports all types of cancer. Most of all, their friendships provide love, comfort and support to those effected by cancer and their families. 

I wanted to create something special for The Friends—something that gave The Friends vibrancy and movement towards a hopeful future. And a mark that celebrated the women behind the organization. I collaborated with Li Ward of Fat Orange Cat Studio and with her stroke of genius (literally) I took her sketches and put this new logo together for The Friends. The simple gestural mark presents compassion, strength, hope and the hearts of the many volunteers. I couldn't alter the Dana-Farber logo (including the "D" mark ) in any way so I wanted to incorporate something that lived effortlessly with the existing logo, without over complicating or forcing the two to become one.

friends-of-dana-farber-logo-kathryn-yee.jpg

For the powerful new tagline by the PR agency, "The power of Friends", I wanted to give it it's own mark. I carried over the hand-written mark, placed it at the end of the tagline and added a period—a definitive stance on it's mission.

Click for more information on The Friends.

Click for more information on The Friends.

After a strong consensus and positive reaction from the executive board, the challenge would be sharing the story behind the new design with the many dedicated volunteers who have sat on the board of the organization since it's inception. Change is difficult for any organization, company or business, but the potential of something greater is worth giving it the room to grow. So with one in-person presentation, the response was gracious, grateful and positive from the entire board. (yay!)

I would have to say that doing this logo has reminded me that design should always inspire, spark an emotion, and be a way to solve challenging problems. We set out to capture the spirit of The Friends, inspire hope and compassion, and attract the attention of new members. I'm honored to be a small part of an organization that impacts change and touches the lives of so many. I'm humbled to be a small piece of the puzzle.

A special thank you to my colleague and friend, Li Ward for sharing her talents with this organization too.


If you are interested in the Saks Fifth Avenue Key To The Cure benefiting women's cancers, click on the invite below. Saks donates 2% of the sales from Thursday to Sunday to women's cancer. 100% of ticket sales will support the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber. Over 200 people attend and last year they were the second highest grossing Key To The Cure event nationwide.

Each attendee will also receive a Friends Friendship band which I designed and made with Twistband. All exciting!

Hope to see you there!

xo K

This year the Key To The Cure logo was designed by Rag & Bone.

This year the Key To The Cure logo was designed by Rag & Bone.

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