Thursday, April 09, 2009

Social Work Logo Ideas

In January of 2003 my mom took this photograph of Jeri and myself holding our son Arthur's hands as we stood on the beach at Santa Cruz, California, facing the sea and the late afternoon sun. It's a nice image, and my mom uses it as a sort of logo for her counseling service. She let me use it as a sort of logo for my social work classes as well. (the image is copyrighted by Virginia Ives). I like how we are silhouetted so we can be almost any couple with a young child. And of course, the sea and the sun are two powerful images. The sea representing vastness, potential, possibility, and depth. The sun representing life-giving energy, power, glory, warmth, and vision. And the beach is a border, a place where two different realms come together, the land, which is known and understood, and the ocean, a place more mysterious, where we are guests, not residents.

I took the image and used it to play around with ideas for artistic designs to use with our social work club at the University of Illinois. Here is one where I try to place the image in a context of written words. On the left we have a list of social workers and people who did social work and can be claimed as honorary members of the profession, even if they were not actually trained as social workers. I didn't include the comedian Martin Short on the list, although he is a trained social worker and was considering that career before he got into comedy. On the lower level and right the words represent issues, concepts, and tasks that are associated with social work and social workers. I'm not entirely satisfied with this design. I need to arrange the text in a more artistic way according to some design, rather than just using this columns of text.

The green lettering design is in fact one the students in the social work club chose to use for their T-shirts this year. The lettering was a bit tricky to do. I'd really like to just create some fonts and then use Illustrator and Word to position the letters. I actually drew these letters (using iWork 08's Pages application) and arranged them using Adobe Photoshop. Too time consuming. But I did achieve the home-made do-it-yourself look that I was striving for, and the letters are supposed to be friendly and free-spirited, and I think they are.

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