Blog viewers may have seen the work that went into the Eleven Pepper’s Identity and when hired a designer should not only do what is asked but go beyond and amaze. Well, that often results in what a colleague calls “killing your babies.” Hence, a director’s cut, if you will—the identity as I wanted it.
Items developed to support the Park Heights Community Health Association’s Annual 5K held in Baltimore. The event which is a community event, brings together a large number of people and focuses on health and welfare in addition to having a timed race. The poster with a mosaic of imagery captures the broad array of imagery that the photographers were able to capture in previous years’ races.
The addition of the Aetna / Maryland Physicans Care title sponsors led to last minute edits to the identity.
(ripped from an actual e-mail to client…)
To recap this specific issue:
Acronyms are overplayed and are (best) effective when used in highly impactful names/brands/organizations with brand equity (or other significance) built around them: IRS, CIA, USPS, UPS, FBI, etc.
Hospitals and lesser-known government agencies use acronyms/initial as shorthand to those “insiders” who know/deal with on some level (stakeholders) the organization regularly—as would politicians, board members and specific members of the community. This can work, but these entities are still very much less well known, particularly if they do not commit to the task of branding (i.e. putting money into the effort to own an acronym).
Who knew what FEMA was before 2005? … And if there is a FEMA, why is there then a MEMA (Maryland)? (Random thought)
Most importantly, when members of a particular community are unknown and the brand recognition amongst them is low, it may stand to reason that the primary usage of an acronym positions an organization distances the general public from the significance of the organization, since the name is less focused on intrinsic recognition with the public.
For example: <strong>ABC Rentals vs. Plumbing Supply Rentals.</strong> (Which name gives a sense — at a glance — of what the company’s primarily positioned to do for the prospective customer?) In this vein, one could say that using acronyms is a nickname of sorts and the public gives the most effective nicknames: FedEx (shortening of the proper name Federal Express—and rebranded as such afterwards because of the saturation with a specific position—overnight package service).