Quality services and vocational opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities are more difficult to find in adulthood. While public schools and state organizations provide invaluable assistance in childhood, those kinds of comprehensive programs are often not available for adults with disabilities, and many older parents need help creating fulfilling lives for their adult children. The EntrepreneurShip created a logo concept that visually describes an exceptional organization created to meet this need.
Message and Context
More than 20 years ago, the parents of a happy, healthy baby girl with Down syndrome looked down the road and saw too few opportunities for their daughter. While she was still a small child, they decided to build a working farm and ranch — a rich, fulfilling community — for people with intellectual disabilities and those who choose to work and live alongside them. Today there are more than 60 Ranchers and staff living in a village of homes, recreational facilities, greenhouses and gardens. They raise chickens, pigs and cattle; grow food for their tables and for sale; and produce more than 15,000 poinsettias, lilies and spring baskets prized by customers across Central Texas.
Many of the doors at the Ranch include a stained glass inset featuring a 5-point star like the one shown in the photo above. The doors are seen by anyone who visits the Ranch, so these glass panels provide a way to visually represent it, but this unique feature also creates a message: every time one door closes, somewhere another one opens. It's a metaphor for opportunity; the potential of a future waiting just beyond the threshold. The glass provides a glimpse into a remarkable community. This design also anchors the Ranch to its location — the star is a familiar icon in Texas; a prominent part of the state flag.
Aesthetic and Personality
For all these reasons, the glass star forms the basis of the logo design. The circle framing the star was reconstructed using vectors. Shapes made from thin lines and type can be used for black-and-white applications. Gradient-filled shapes create the appearance of beveled glass for use in greyscale and full-color permutations. The light blue reflected in the glass hints at open sky on the other side; a reference to the possibilities of life in a place where "the skies are not cloudy all day." When the logo is placed over photos, the partially transparent beveled glass panels create the appearance of a window on the Ranch, welcoming visitors and teaching us something about the lives of the people who live there.
A slender, serif typeface places the Ranch in the present. It alludes to the aesthetics and history of Texas while avoiding the stereotypes of more traditionally "Western" fonts. The name of the Ranch — a nod to both Down syndrome and the residential mission of the organization — is placed within lines that provide a strong visual foundation for the window itself. The color palette was pulled from life on the Ranch: worn denim, scrub brush and pine, horse hide and barbed wire fencing provide colors that can be used in a wide variety of applications.
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