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Blog Post

Justin Ahrens and Rule29 Designed A New Brand for Make-A-Wish®

At HOW we love to check out all the great things our speakers are up to and we’re excited to share it with our community. Here’s an update from a recent re-brand Justin Ahrens and Rule29 had the honor of creating. 

Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in the United States and in 50 countries worldwide. Together, generous donors, supporters, staff and 40,000 volunteers globally, grant a wish every 17 minutes, on average, somewhere in the world. Since 1980, the organization has granted more than 415,000 wishes to children worldwide, more than 30,000 in 2017 alone. This week, the organization introduced a global rebrand designed by Rule29 from Geneva, IL.

Rule29 created a new logo that would maintain the equity of certain visual elements from the old logo (swirl, star, and hyphens), while also updating the overall look and appeal. The serif type gives the logo a contemporary touch, and the weightiness presents Make-A-Wish’s message with a powerful, dynamic presence. “Make-A-Wish” is converted to sentence-case for increased legibility. Using the smaller, lowercase letterforms also imbues the logo with a casual, approachable feeling.

The new, elongated swirl ending in the star represents a star shooting across the sky, matching the bright optimism a wish brings to wish kids, their families and the community at large. Additionally, the new swirl and star placement also creates a flat baseline along the bottom of the logo which allows the non-profit to place chapter and affiliate names closer to the logo, visually representing that local chapters and affiliates serve as the foundation of the organization.

Along with the fresh logo, Rule29 and Make-A-Wish created a new brand book that explored all facets of the new brand – messaging, visual storytelling, and design elements – all with the goal of ultimately bringing each child’s story forward and inviting others to take part in the mission. This piece included inspirational content and an expanded color palette, along with updated typography, some new design elements (including a catalogue of over 100+ icons) and refreshed guidelines for photography and videography. The overall reception to the new brand in the organization has been overwhelmingly positive. Josh deBerge, Director of National Communications & PR of Make-A-Wish America states, “There are certainly challenges with this level of input, particularly in the design process, but ultimately Rule29 along with our internal Creative Services team was able to synthesize all of that feedback and develop a logo and design system that was energized and fresh, yet paid homage to the logo and system that served us for the past 18 years.” For more on the rebrand, visit