It's an incredibly simple logo. And therein lies its power. It appears, at first, to be just one word: "we," but flip the letter "w" upside down, and it becomes "me." This clever we/me balance perfectly captures the "think globally/act locally" philosophy that's at the heart of the We Campaign.
This three-year $300 million campaign is being rolled out by The Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit, nonpartisan effort founded by Al Gore, whose core message is "we can solve the climate crisis."
Because of its simplicity, the campaign logo has great marketing potential. Imagine a "we" button – what better in an election year? – worn to signify alliance with this global cause. Or imagine two buttons, one worn as "we," the other as "me" – to serve as visible reminders that each of us, alone and together, can make a difference.
On second thought, a wasteful button artifact might not be the best way to signify support for the campaign. The alliance's site, wecansolveit.org, is encouraging supporters to display the round green We logo on their Facebook and MySpace pages, without any adverse environmental effect. This is where the skillful logo design will really pay off – and start building awareness.
The logo is already capturing attention. Writing in The New York Times Week In Review, Steven Heller analyzed the bright green globe, spoke with its creators – The Martin Agency and Brian Collins – and underscored the difficulty of designing a logo that is, at once, refreshingly simple and undeniably powerful:
"An effective logo is a kind of calculus, the sum of disparate parts that adds up to a memorable image or icon. In this case, the logo is something of a risk because it is neither the name nor initials of the organization but a visual pun on the words We and Me."
Everyone I've shown the logo to stares at it. It's the strange "w" that holds their attention. The only reason they know that "w" is an upside-down "m" is the vertical foot or starting stroke at the bottom left. Typography is all about nuance. Scrape that stroke off and the logo loses its power.
I'd like to see some simple digital animations that capture this playful, yet profound rotation between "we" and "me." Take this tagline: Join we today.
Imagine the "we" rotating to read: Join me today. It's simple, rich symbolism.
It will be interesting to track the We campaign in the coming months. The first We television ad is airing now, and you can view initial print ads on the site. According to the We campaign website, "this three-year effort will combine the best practices of successful commercial marketing and issue advocacy efforts."
With the logo in particular, I think the marketing is off to a strong start. And you?