Explaining the new design, the agency’s design group head, Jesse Sharkie, who worked alongside interns Afra Chinamasa, Tameron Karelse and Temba Mkosi, said that the fact that Ubomi means ‘life’ influenced the team’s decision to bring an organic visual metaphor into the typography.
Sharkie said the ‘U’ in Ubomi was fashioned into an icon resembling a person reaching out and also gave shape to a large pair of ‘cupped’ hands to signify the foundation’s efforts to uplift as many levels of society as possible.
“The brand identity is simple yet distinctive enough to clearly convey the foundation's aspirations,” he said. “The interns and I felt privileged to develop a brand for an organisation that is doing great things for the Eastern Cape, and which truly cares for uplifting people's circumstances.”
Acknowledged as the ‘the poorest province in South Africa’, the Eastern Cape is home to the highest population living below the poverty line and has the highest unemployment rate (54.5% according to BusinessTech).
The Ubomi Foundation's goal is to uplift communities living within the province and equip their members with the skills and opportunities to change their circumstances and build brighter futures for themselves, their children and their neighbours.
The new CI was launched by the Ubomi’s Foundation’s founder, Siyanda Mxotwa, at a small gathering respecting Covid protocols as well as online to its stakeholders in the province.
During his address, Mxotwa said partnering with Boomtown to develop a new CI was a natural fit, as the agency launched its own bold ‘New Boom’ vision during the depths of lockdown in 2020.
He stressed that the new CI celebrates life and the rebirth of Ubomi Foundation. “I was once a young man without access to information, support, and exposure to the tools to build my future. But, my involvement with non-governmental organisations helped me gain experience and skills, and shaped my wish to serve all communities,” he said.
“As a result, the Ubomi Foundation today supports communities through its educational programmes such as the Adopt-a-School initiative, the opening of its Development Hub and its community social outreach projects.”
Boomtown CEO Glen Meier said he was immensely proud of the 2021 crop of Bayeza interns, particularly their enthusiasm and willingness to tackle the brief and share their knowledge in a way that would benefit Ubomi going forward.
“At Boomtown, we believe in better,” explained Meier. “This is our reason for doing what we do. And we do it – we strive for a better business, a better strategy, a better creative, better brands and better results – because we want to live in a South Africa where people have better lives, where we work in a better industry, where we contribute to a better economy, and where we help build a better South Africa.
“This is the vision that is driving our charge in 2022, and our Bayeza Graduate Internship Programme embodies this vision,” he said.
Last year, after nearly two years of extensive engagement with at least 3,100 university stakeholders, Boomtown unveiled a new visual identity for Stellenbosch University (SU) which struck a fine balance between an institution with heritage and the need to progress into the future. The new logo is modern and streamlined, yet still has the gravitas of a classic and elegant logo, with immediate presence and visibility, as befits an institution with world-class academic standing.