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Our logo: in case you’re curious.

January 15, 2021

As you may have noticed, our new website has come with an updated logo. While the need for a new website was clear, we also felt that a new logo was imperative. For all my fellow comms folks, I think you will appreciate that we went from a Drupal 7 website to the new WordPress Gutenberg editor. This makes it not only easier to navigate on the user side, but also easier for the staff at CAFB to update content, build media-rich pages, and reuse content without having to make updates in multiple places. This saves us loads of time and allows more staff to dive in and bring you the information you’re looking for.

Since we were undertaking the complete redesign of our website, it seemed opportune timing for us to also update our overall brand. While our colors haven’t shifted much, we did optimize them for digital usage. We’re still settling into our refreshed identity and hope to complete the transition over the next several months. 

Obviously, the most prominent visual we have is our logo. Why did we choose to change it? Well, first let me say, we choose to refresh it rather than fully overhaul it. Yes, it’s quite different, but it still has the same elements: a pear alongside our name. Here are a few of the reasons we undertook the logo refresh:

  • Our old logo included five bold and distinctive colors. These five colors made up the majority of our brand colors and left us little else in our toolkit. It also made it incredibly difficult to use on colored backgrounds and hard to contrast with.
  • The four color boxes are not only bold but bulky – particularly in comparison with the delicate pear outline within them. When reduced in size the pear outline would nearly disappear into the boxes.
  • The bulkiness of the four color boxes made it a challenging icon to use on social media and across the internet — which has become ever more essential.
  • In the styling of the name, the way that “association of” often turns to a blur when printed in a small size.

These are a few of the challenges with our former logo that we focused on remedying  with our new version. In regards to why we choose the new one, other than wanting to maintain the same basic elements and utilize the existing (albeit slightly updated) color palate, here are a few reasons:

  • We desired a clean graphic that can stand alone.
  • The negative space inside the pear shape looks like a pear hanging from a tree (something I appreciated mid-process as I was harvesting pears in my yard), and given that we work so closely with California’s agricultural community, it seemed like a nice nod.
  • The lettering is bold, imbuing strength but with rounded corners to add a bit of softness — kind of like a food bank, a vast logistical effort with trucks and forklifts that is centered around care and compassion.
  • The gradient of pear also adds a layer of softness and frontloads yellow which connotes notions of sunshine and optimism — which, at our core, we are here at CAFB. We’re an organization centered on the notion that hunger is a solvable problem, and that it can and should be solved.

Less noticeably, we also undertook updating our language, which you’ll see throughout our new website and collateral as we flesh it out throughout the year. If you haven’t seen it yet, we landed on the tagline “Leading the collective effort to end hunger in California.”

It’s an understatement to say that this project did not go according to plan — we were in the midst of this work when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, causing us to press pause on the projects and focus on more pressing matters. Come July, we were able to slowly pick it back up and do our darnedest to work on it alongside everything the pandemic response required. We were grateful to finally launch it at the year’s end. While the site doesn’t yet include all of the grandiose plans we’d envisioned in a pre-pandemic world, we look forward to continuing to evolve it over the coming year.

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Copy of banana phone