As you may have noticed, this issue of BATS magazine has a different look and feel. Bat Conservation International has a new logo – a brand that, we believe, better reflects a dynamic organization that is expanding into the future on the eve of its 30th birthday next March. Surveys of members and nonmembers support this conclusion.
Our previous logo served BCI well, but it appeared static and did not include a bat – the reason for our existence. This new logo is more fluid and is built around a stylized bat that is flying confidently forward. This new "BCI bat" has a green leaf as one of its wings – a reminder that our mission is to "conserve the world's bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet." Bats are keystone animals that are essential to maintaining the balance of nature. By protecting bats, we are also protecting ecosystems and human economies around the globe.
With this new brand, we are bidding a reluctant farewell to the wu-fu – a Chinese symbol of good fortune that features a circle of stylized bats – that was the emblem of BCI for its first 20 years. We incorporated a small version of the wu-fu into the logo BCI adopted in 2003. Then, as now, one reason for the change is that very few people had any idea what the wu-fu was or represented.
Creating our new logo was a long and thorough process (which is described on page 3). By working with the Pratt Institute School of Art and Design in New York City, we were able to tap the skill and enthusiasm of a talented class of art students. Under the guidance of their professors, the students competed to create a logo at no cost to BCI. The process was exciting, as we witnessed the evolution of concepts and artwork and narrowed our choices throughout the school year.
Then, as many of you know, we conducted extensive surveys of BCI members and nonmembers to make the final selection. The winning logo, by a talented young artist named Joe Tagle, was judged very favorably by most respondents, including, I'm happy to report, BCI Founder Merlin Tuttle. Joe put a lot of thought into his concept and design. Incorporating a leaf into the bat image expressed his vision of the interconnectedness of bats and the environment.
We are confident that our new logo will be well received by our members, colleagues and the public, and that it will help expand recognition of BCI worldwide. We are still Bat Conservation International – our core values and commitment remain as strong as ever.
We are presenting you with our new logo at the same time that we are celebrating some other very big events. The United Nations Environment Programme has designated 2011-2012 as International Year of the Bat, and I cannot begin to describe how busy we all are at BCI as we work with a growing list of partners to plan and hold events. Our website lists activities in the United States and many other countries, so please take a look (www.batcon.org/yotb) for an event in your area. Better yet, plan a Year of the Bat event in your region by giving or sponsoring a bat talk or another fun activity. We have the resources to help.
We are also approaching the 30th anniversary of Bat Conservation International's founding, and we are very excited that this coincides with the international celebration of bats. With continuing threats to bats in the form of White-nose Syndrome, wind power, human-bat conflicts and more, our goals of education and conservation are as critical now as when Dr. Tuttle founded BCI three decades ago.