Go for the gold and buzz about the summer games in Rio was at hand for the Society of the Sacred Heart (SOSH), who wanted to support the Olympic athletes, many who are alumni or connected with their network of schools. Someone from one of their schools designed a logo mark using the Olympic rings, but substituting the SOSH heart icon as a ring. Brand expert and SOSH marketing director, Donna Heckler called me to discuss the project. Although we loved this ring concept, we knew the Olympics had specific branding. Donna and I read through the Rio 2016 Brand Protection Guidelines (twice!). They protect their marks and their brands very vigorously. We could not use the Olympic rings. Plus, SOSH is not an official sponsor. We needed a “Plan B.”
What to do? Our goal, design a set of our own theme logo marks to celebrate and cheer on the athletes. Here’s the elements we used:
- Incorporate the SOSH heart icon
- Replicate the Rio color palette: orange, green and blue; and red PMS 1945, the color of Sacred Heart
- Use a similar typeface to the Rio Olympic typeface (also protected) to capture the same Rio spirit. I selected “Good Dog” — it can be used on PC or Mac and is a free download to schools wanting to customize with a school message.
- Gold, silver and bronze medals: I found a set of Olympic-looking medals illustrations. We added the SOSH heart icon, 2016, and “Congratulations” to each medal.
- Donna wrote a series of 3 messages: “Sacred Heart 2016 Olympic Athletes,” “Congrats 2016 Olympic Athletes,” and “Let’s Go 2016 Olympic Athletes.”
For all of the logo marks, we made various file formats: .pngs, .jpgs, high-res and low res and distributed via Dropbox.
Outcome — incredible!
Donna knew there would be so much activity on social media around the Olympics. She developed and sent “Rio Olympic logo and mark guidelines file” to all the schools, encouraging them to use the logo marks and hashtags (#gosacredheartolympians). “One added advantage of these marks is that, as we use them together, it make the Sacred Heart voice that much stronger. The consistent use of the core elements of the marks will reinforce how unified the Sacred Heart family truly is.”
By making the marks available in a variety of manners but with a consistent look and feel, all those cheering on the Olympians were able to be creative and yet consistent in their communications digitally and through social media.
The logo marks are a huge success—connecting the SOSH family worldwide! The positive email messages are heart-felt. Donna has heard from people across the globe. “The level of engagement has been incredible, coming together, working together and cheering on our Olympians together has fostered such a deep connectivity for the Society and its schools all over the world. Having some images that would work for everyone was the springboard to this result.”
How exciting to get great feedback and see these logo marks used online. I am honored to have been a part of this project’s success.
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