UAA's Sustainability Logo Wins National Award

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

UAA Sustainability LogoUAA's Sustainability logo won a Silver 2007 Davey Award, according to the logo's creator, Michael Ardaiz of Mad Dog Graphx. The Daveys honor design excellence produced by small design firms and agencies worldwide.

The logo was designed at the request of the Chancellor's Council on Sustainability in 2006-07. Michael Ardaiz and his partner Kris Ryan-Clarke met with the Council and listened intently as idea after idea poured out. It should say something about the environment, council members said, and about education and social justice and stewardship. Oh yes, and it should convey hope.

Michael explains, "The underlying structure is a yin-and-yang symbol, a well-known Pacific Rim icon representing balance. We thought the idea of balance was important to the concept of sustainability--balance between use and renewal, nature and industry, etc. Balance is also implied by what someone on the Council said about having the most fun you can without harming the planet.

The upper half of the logo has elements of nature including the leaf and wind. The lower marks can be read as either tilled land or cascading water. As furrows, the marks suggest using resources (farming, industry, and commerce). Earth, air, and water are represented, as are plant and animal (human) life.

The hand represents the human element in the equation, and its cradling position is meant to evoke the concept of stewardship. Together with the elements in the remainder of the logo, it pretty literally says it is all in our hands.

Finally, the logo is cyclical, which also suggests the tenets of renewal and sustainability. And of course, the final circular shape is reminiscent of a globe, which ties into sustainability as a global effort with ramifications for the planet as a whole."

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