The existing identity for the Holocaust Remembrance Project seemed depressing, dark and oppressive to me - especially when printed on a dark gray T-shirt given to student participants and essay judges. While those descriptive qualities may apply to that particular period of history, I felt the project identity should be celebrating those who have overcome the negatives of the Holocaust to inspire others to live exemplary lives.
The Holocaust impacted a wide variety of people, not just those of the Jewish faith. The triangle-shaped uniform badges assigned to those in the concentration camps were color-coded to identify the individuals. The color codes were:
• Red: Political prisoners - including Poles, Czechs and members of the Armed Forces
• Green: Those considered to be criminals
• Blue: Emigrants
• Yellow: Jews (two triangles were overlapped to form the Star of David)
• Purple: Jehovah’s Witnesses
• Pink: Gay males
• Black: Vagrants, gypsies, and “anti-social” women (lesbians, prostitutes, women using birth control)
In my initial mental design concept, I felt that those impacted by the Holocaust should take "ownership" of those negative identitifying triangle symbols. I inverted the geometric shapes to point to the sky and form colorful rays of a strong, positive sun image. The result is a graphic identity that has been given a sense of light, while making use of the representative colors and projecting an image of honor and respect in regards to the issue of the Holocaust.
The identity was recognized with a 2008 American Graphic Design Award.
(Note: My new book, Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities Into Successful Brands, contains case studies from 35 designers and firms located around the world. Learn more about the book on the Identity Crisis! blog.)
© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives