Sunday, July 25, 2010

The South Pacific

This summer I've donated some time and design work to an organization called Habele. Some of you may know I'm fascinated by the south pacific, and that's how I came across Habele. "Habele is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of educational opportunities in the remote islands and atolls of Micronesia, an impoverished former American trust territory in the Central Pacific". One really cool project they've completed is a Ulithian-to-English and English-to-Ulithian Dictionary. Ulithian is the native language of people living on the Atoll of Ulithi. In my understanding, the dictionary simultaneously helps standardize the the written form of Ulithian, and also makes it easier for children to go back and forth with English, as English is a crucial tool in broaden their educational horizons.

Anyway, when it came to designing their identity, I felt it best to go with a wordmark. As a small organization, only a couple of years old, name recognition is important and Habele (which means "to realize a future; to wish") is unique to begin with. I started by finding a typeface that felt right, and ended up going with ITC Goudy Sans which I felt had a good balance of kid friendly-ness with out being over the top. After all Habele works with/for kids.
I also like the playful angles and curves, and I especially like the oceanic-without-being-cheesy feel of the curvy Italic cut, which I've used on Habele's site. The next element was the tribal pattern, which comes from the region, and is a nice contextual nod and graphic device. My favorite version of the Logo is the middle one seen above. In that version, which is the primary version used on the web, "OUTER ISLAND EDUCATION FUND" is cast to the side just like well, an outer island.

Other work included nailing down a color scheme, reworking the look of their existing website, and integrating their blog with their site. Next up I want to make an interactive map of the Islands Habele works with. This will be challenging as Micronesia is so remote and small it can be hard to get good reference maps or even satellite pictures. Even Google maps isn't much of a help, so wish me luck.

Special thanks to Neil Mellen for trusting and allowing me to work with him on this project.


  1. Hi Shane ,

    I really appreciate the work you made on this logo design....difficult to say which i prefer.
    .All the best in China
    Daniel Andriuzzi

  2. Much appreciated Daniel,
    and thanks, China will be a challenge!