As you hopefully already noticed, we updated our materials this fall. As part of our year-long 25th anniversary celebration, we created a new logo (below), updated this website and redesigned the print and e-newsletters. I hope you like the changes and encourage you to share your feedback with us (via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by commenting below).
While we were excited to refresh our look after more than two decades, this ended up being more than an aesthetic change for the RFC. The local designer working with us on these projects created a comprehensive survey for the staff and Board to help him understand what elements, ideas, concepts, images and phrases were most important to us as an organization. Survey questions included: should the logo feel more traditional or contemporary? What emotions do you want the logo to communicate? Are there important symbols or concepts that should be central to the image? Should children be included? If there are kids, how should they be depicted? Are there certain words in the organization’s name that should be emphasized?
Some of these questions were easy to answer and resulted in pretty uniform responses but others required numerous conversations and negotiations. For example, of course children are the core of our work and we all agreed they should be included in some way in the new logo; but there were different opinions about how they should be portrayed. Happy? Threatened? With their parents or other adults? Alone or in groups or as part of a larger community? Visiting a parent in prison? Participating in a cultural or recreational program?
At its essence, redesigning our logo, website and newsletter was about what we most wanted to communicate about the RFC to people, whether they are long-time supporters or possible new beneficiaries or donors. I was struck by the words that reappeared across almost all the survey responses: resistance, activism, community, family and children. I hope our new materials convey these concepts to you and that they serve us as well for the next few decades as the previous iterations did.
While they can inspire new initiatives or a change in direction or look, anniversaries are primarily an opportunity to acknowledge achievements and recognize key contributors. In that spirit, I want to close with two special thank yous. First, to the Puffin Foundation Ltd. for their sponsorship of our 25th anniversary (including the redesign of our logo and other materials) as well as their very generous support of our previous artistic and cultural programs, and the endowment campaign to ensure our future.
And finally, to my dad, RFC founder Robert Meeropol. We would not have reached this milestone anniversary without the support of thousands of people, but at its heart the RFC is his creation. It was his “constructive revenge,” a way to transform the violence visited upon his family into a powerful positive force in the lives of other children who suffered when their parents faced targeting for their progressive efforts. We would not be celebrating our 25th anniversary or looking to our next quarter century without his leadership and vision.