New Logo for Creating the Future

New logo (for blog post)Out with the old logo, in with the new!

After a year of finding our voice and our message (which you'll find here), it is time to turn those words into images and graphics. And YES – that means a new logo, and a new overall “look and feel” for everything from a new website (finally!), business cards, and everything in between.

Finally Creating the Future's website and everything else will evoke what we are at the core – that thing that each of you feels when you think of this work!

And we sure need your help with that! As much as we needed input when we were making our way through our word messaging, we need it doubly with our image messaging!

To begin this step in the journey, we asked ourselves, “What will the logo and “look and feel” make possible for Creating the Future and its mission?” Here’s what we came up with:

A new look and feel will…

  • Make Creating the Future recognizable; create engagement and a sense of community
  • Support the energy and spirit of our work, our name "Creating the Future" and our tagline "Change the Questions, Change the World!"
  • Send a clear and consistent message of what we’re about to people who don't know us yet
  • Generate enthusiasm “Wow, I want to be a part of this!”
  • Generate a sense of belonging to those who already know us
  • Create momentum “I’m seeing you everywhere”
  • Create movement towards engagement and community

Logo - crossed out for blog post 7-21-14We then asked, “If that is what a consistent look and feel will make possible, then what will our look and feel need to be in order to accomplish that? What will it need to have? What will it need to evoke?”  Here’s what we came up with:

  • High energy!
  • Strength / Power
  • Movement / Momentum
  • Simple, clean and concise
  • Represents the ACTION of our work. (Our name and tagline are statements of action: “Creating the Future” and “Change the Questions, Change the World!”)
  • Inviting, welcoming, eliciting a feeling of openness – inviting people to come in and be “lab partners” in this living laboratory.

This is the short list we've come up with so far. Being so deeply inside the work, though, we know this is not entirely it. Which is where you come in.

  • What feelings does Creating the Future evoke for you, that you think our graphic look and feel should evoke?
  • What would you add? 
  • What stands out in the list we created? What resonates (that is on the list, or that we missed)?
  • What words / feelings / elements best describe what Creating the Future is all about?
  • And if it's helpful, what is it about our current logo and look / feel that does NOT work? (Sometimes thinking about what does not work helps spark what would work).

Logo (horiz) - crossed out for blog post 7-21-14 We’ll be going out to bid in the next few weeks. What should we tell a graphic designer we want Creating the Future’s new look and feel to tell the world about us?


If you're curious about the conversations that led to this point, you'll find them here. 

12 thoughts on “New Logo for Creating the Future”

  1. What stands out in your list? ACTION. Some logos have horizontal lines, straight or wavy, that give a feeling of movement. Also energy or momentum and inviting/welcoming but I'm not sure you can include the latter and keep it clean.

    Add? Hope, optimism. Change for the better not just change. Maybe a question mark that itself looks to be moving/changing.

    Current one – never understood the blue corner. And the globe doesn't spin so it's static. And black lettering doesn't align with hope. Yet until you asked, I liked it!

    • Love all of this, Jane. Thanks!

      And the blue corner is because that's a truncated version of a larger version, so it would fit in a square. Which is to say it serves absolutely no purpose except that it's just there. Reason #465 to have a brand new look AND various versions of it. So your comment is a big help in our deliverables list, not just our attribute list!


  2. Every time we've talked about this, the word "movement" stands out. I'm with Jane on something that says we are a movement and taking action to change the world.  I've always loved the image of someone jumping in the air with their hands held high in exultation.  Not sure how that would translate in to a logo, but like the positive energy that draws me to have that feeling too.

  3. Hildy,

    I like the feeling of movement, energy and hope.  Invoking the feeling that we can create movement and make change is what the logo should leave people with and I agree with Jane it should be simple so that it is readily recognizable as being connected to this work.  Glad I don't have to create this…..

  4. I love "change the questions, change the world" because it speaks to possibilities and pragmatism at the same time. forgive me, Hildy, but I was about to write "it's not pollyanna-ish". Not because you're wrong, but because of the connotation that Pollyanna has in the outside world. 

    Joy, expansion, possibilities, imagination, vistas, horizons, wide open spaces, but coupled with pragmatism….it's not outside the realm of possibility. There's a tangible aspect to your work that people can grasp.

  5. Of the items on the list above, I would say that movement jumps out at me because of the double-meaning of the word–movement in terms of action, but movement also in terms of CTF creating a cadre of individuals looking to change the world.

    I'm also like the idea of a simple, clean design–less is more! I think simple also tends to translate better to things like business cards or notecards, when the logo is scaled down.

    Re: the current logo: the "blue marble" image of the Earth always makes me think of something spacey/sciencey–more NASA than CTF. And I agree with Jane re: the black lettering–to me, it seems stark, rather than warm and inviting.

    If I were to add to the list, I would say: (a) community/collaboration–so much of my own experience with CTF (through the FB group and the Twitter chats) has been about a sense of connectedness with others who share similar personal missions, despite the differences in the specifics of our day-to-day work; and (b) potential–the visual that comes to mind for me is a seedling, newly planted and waiting to take root to become something strong and enduring.

  6. Because I'm so much better at responding to visuals than envisioning them myself, I'll respond to the current logo first. Above all, I think it looks a bit dated, and I agree with Joyce that the image of the Earth is more associated with space science and environmentalism than with CTF's mission. It's also very busy, which makes it hard to translate in small-scale formats, like Twitter.

    I would think warm colors — oranges and yellows, or blues and greens on the warmer end of the spectrum — and clean, "friendly" fonts would help convey the sense of community and inclusiveness that I associate with CTF.

    A single graphic element that conveys that inclusiveness and forward movement — one line, one circle, maybe leaning forward? I'm not much of a designer, but a good graphic artist should be able to come up with a few ideas — would be better than multiple elements/words for ease of use and visual impact.

    And from my own creative work with clients, it's so helpful to be able to use the graphics and name and tagline separately, so a graphic element that stands on its own (think Amnesty International's candle logo, or the NIKE swoosh) is fantastic.

  7. I think you nailed it. The group seems to agree. I've been thinking about his all afternoon, ever since you posted the question about the logo on facebook. My list is surprisingly similar to yours: simple/clean design, action, movement toward/forward momentum, strong but approachable, bold, inclusive, energetic.

  8. All the comments thus far make lots of sense.  I love, love, love the tagline – I bet that it will resonate for so many folks.  I understand how the previous image was created and look forward to the next brilliant logo.  The ideas I would add are:

    Visuals that work well and can be easily understood internationally, to be meaningful for all your audiences.

    Visuals that work well in colour, or in black and white.  We often copy materials in black and white, losing beautiful nuances in people's logos..

    An image that is somehow welcoming.  Hildy, Dimitri and the whole gang are so inviting of the skills of others.  Can a logo help to re-affirm that value?.

    Bless any designers who want to take on this project – we expect GREAT things!



  9. So deeply grateful and excited by everything you guys are sharing here. This is amazing and helpful and humbling. And yes, Annie, I really do feel for whoever winds up pulling this all together into one image! 🙂


  10. I want it to inspire a sense of possibility–an image that draws me in and forward in my thinking and in my feeling. I do agree that clean and powerful are bottom line. Simply elegant! Thanks for reaching out!



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