Established in 1873, making it one of the oldest private charitable organizations in the city, the Atlanta Humane Society is a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to “improve animal welfare in the southeastern United States by providing quality animal services including preventative initiatives, education, advocacy and adoption of animals into permanent loving homes.” A pet adoption center, vet center, and educational program provider, Atlanta Humane Society serves about 30,000 animals each year, and places approximately 9,000 dogs and cats into forever homes. Recently, the organization introduced a new identity designed by local firm Matchstic.
We were careful to preserve the visual expressions that have built equity in the community for over 50 years. The logotype was updated ever so slightly to make it tighter and more legible. While the heart remains a big part of the brand, we also created a fun and flexible system around it—one that helps it beat a little louder and bring warm and fuzzies to animal lovers across the city.
There isn’t much to talk about the logo as it’s a very straightforward evolution that simply and literally tightens the previous version. I am sure there was an impetus to create a new logo and I am sure it could have been awesome but this is a strong, simple logo with equity in the community and it seems like a sensible thing to do to maintain it and extend its life expectancy. Making the heart smaller makes a significant difference in it becoming more of a glyph embedded within the other letters as opposed to a large heart wedged in there. Also, it’s been a long time since Avant Garde Gothic was the center of attention and it feels good, in a 1970s awesome-typography kind of good.
The applications are really great, with the identity doubling down on the use of lowercase Avant Garde Gothic, working it for all its worth in its bold weight and doing a great job in creating hierarchy through font size changes. The selected companion serif is lovely and complements Avant Garde really well — grateful that it’s not another bold spiky serif. Keeping the color palette to red, black, and white maintains consistency in a simple way and the pet photography is very well curated. I also like how the logo can expand into a single line lock-up applied on the bottom of the layouts.
Inspired by the curiosity and playfulness of the animals, Atlanta Humane Society’s tried and true Avant Garde Gothic became active and full of typographic energy.
As an additional expression, Avant Garde can be playfully dumped unto a layout and letting the letterforms pile on and support each other, sometimes defying typographic gravity. At a time where most applications try to play it cool above anything else, this is such a loose and fun approach that adds a healthy dose of joy to the identity. And, man, I had forgotten how good Avant Garde can be.
Overall, a really great identity system that makes the organization look tightly put together as well as portraying a tangible sense of caring for the animals they help.