"I wanted to create a mark that emphasizes the ecological benefits of bats because most people don't know about that. The bat's wings form a leaf shape to emphasize that bats are essential to the environment." That's how Joe Tagle describes his goals for the new BCI logo that he designed and that we are officially launching with this issue of BATS magazine.
"I tried to give the bat a feeling of flight. Combined with the right-justified type, it creates the feeling of movement – of moving forward – to illustrate the progress BCI has made over the past 30 years and the advancements in BCI's work that will protect these special mammals for eternity."
This stylish new BCI brand is the result of a nine-month process that involved Marketing Director Susan Kwasniak, other key BCI staff, nearly 2,000 BCI members and an innovative program called "Design Corps" at Pratt Institute, a prestigious art college in New York City.
BCI's leadership agreed last year on the need to explore a new logo. We wanted something eye-catching and inspiring that would draw attention to bats and their ecological importance. BCI's beloved wu-fu – a Chinese symbol for good fortune and happiness that was BCI's original logo and was incorporated into the current version – was completely unfamiliar to most people, including many BCI members.
Given the many critical demands on BCI's limited resources, we decided we needed a top-notch designer who would work for nothing. Kwasniak approached top university graphic-design programs and BCI was selected last December by the Pratt Institute Design Corps. This elite program provides free, professional-quality design services to select nonprofit organizations. It is run as a professional ad agency under the direction of senior professors.
"When the students presented the first round of logos, I was impressed," Kwasniak said. "I spent nearly 20 years working at ad agencies, and these students were more professional, creative and on-target than many agency designers."
Thirteen logo designs were submitted to BCI's selection team, which recommended three sets of revisions. The team and the BCI Board of Trustees selected two designs as finalists. These two, plus the existing logo, were tested through an online marketing survey of 600 BCI members and 600 nonmembers. The nonmembers met certain criteria, such as previous donations to environmental or animal-protection groups, that identified them as potential BCI supporters.
Each respondent was shown one logo and asked whether it communicated a positive message about bats and their role in nature. They were also asked if the logo suggested an organization they would consider supporting.
BCI Executive Director Nina Fascione said she was immediately enchanted by Tagle's design during student presentations. "Joe was the first student to present. When he finished, I thought, 'That's the one. We can go home now.' There were many more great designs, but Joe really came out on top." The final step was to give our members final input into the decision. Shown the choices, you voted for Joe Tagle's bat/leaf logo. Our decision became clear.
BCI's founder, Merlin Tuttle, added his blessing: "I'll always have a soft spot for the wu-fu, but I definitely like the bat/leaf design. It stands out from the crowd."
We are proud of this new brand for Bat Conservation International, and we thank all of you who helped us make this important decision. We are confident you will embrace our new logo and all that it represents: BCI's unswerving commitment to bats.