Half The Sky

Contributed by Chris Nutter of NYC-based Chermayeff & Geismar.

Half The Sky identity

It has been said that the central moral challenge of the 21st century is the oppression of women and girls around the world. Half The Sky is a multi-platform media project — based on Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s 2009 best-selling book — that seeks to answer this challenge by galvanizing a new global social movement to turn oppression into opportunity for countless women worldwide.

Half The Sky (a phrase derived from a Chinese proverb referring to the power of women, who hold up “half the sky”) launched in May 2011. Over the course of 2011 and 2012, Half The Sky will introduce a two-part television series on PBS’ Independent Lens (with involvement from Lucy Liu, America Ferrera, Marisa Tomei, and Diane Lane); a social action game hosted by Facebook; an interactive website; iPhone apps; and over 40 educational short films reaching targeted communities across the globe. The producers came to Chermayeff & Geismar to design a mark that will synthesize all of the project’s media endeavours, and provide a visual identity that would be both powerful, recognizable, and appropriate to the message.

Half The Sky identity

Partner Sagi Haviv’s solution — two halves of a sky that come together to form an equal sign — is both a literal representation of the project’s name, and a universally understood symbol for its core message:

“The identity is workable in all of Half The Sky’s media endeavors and will be understood everywhere andin every language. In this way, it will help ensure the visual cohesion of the project’s global mission to empower women. Half The Sky’s identity delivers a positive, hopeful and powerful message about the inherent equality of women, and it is an honor to be a part of the project.”
— SAGI HAVIV

Half The Sky identity

Half The Sky identity

Half The Sky identity

Half The Sky identity

Half The Sky identity

Half The Sky identity

Half The Sky identity

Half The Sky identity

Half The Sky identity

Half The Sky identity

Half The Sky identity

Half The Sky will launch worldwide over the course of 2011 and 2012.

Half The Sky identity

Also by Chermayeff & Geismar on Identity Designed: Conservation International.

Read an interview with Sagi Haviv, on Logo Design Love.

Visit the Chermayeff & Geismar website.

14 responses

  1. I loved the overall concept but not the elements forming the logo.
    Maybe it’s because of the usage of imagery: it limits the way this identity can work on different outputs.

  2. It amazes me how Chermayeff & Geismar are so good at making these simple memorable logos. I’m not sure if I like pictures in actual logos, like they have the clipping mask on the clouds. They also used the exact same templates that they presented the Conservation identity with. May be that is why Milo said it looked familiar. I really like it but at first glance I was like wait they updated the Conservation International logo already?

  3. The reason this works is because as Kevin Robert’s says, humans are powered by emotion and not reason.
    Everything about this triggers emotion, from the name to the use of the elements including the imagery.
    Are we guilty of over analyzing things sometimes?

  4. There are so many ways an identity can be interpreted. In = half the sky, the equal sign was not obvious. Blue sky evokes an emotional response, great in logo design, but to me there were 2 separate blocks of sky, one on top of the other, so quite different connotations.

  5. I’m just a suit, not a designer, but I can’t get past the dissonance of an equals sign and the word ‘half’. Two ideas that aren’t just different, but are opposites, IMHO.

  6. I intensely dislike this; though that is possibly because I am not keen on photography used within logo designs.

    The overall look feels dated and clumsy to me.

    I’m happy with it being an equals sign, because actually isn’t it all about ‘equality’ also? So this is appropriate I feel.

    I would have probably loved it if it were simple block colours – I feel the photography is gimmicky and an attempt to be original rather than it being particularly ‘right’ for the brand.

  7. What if, the sky would have been represented with two opposite arrows with a bar in between, i.e., and/or with an half-finished infinity symbol? Just few thoughts – of course, yes – logo should be simple but how simple it ought to be? – that needs to be considered, I feel.

    Let’s not demand everything could be explained visually – like the sky here! How two confined rectangles (“equals to” symbol) with few clouds floating could explain the sky – where it is represented to explain the “inherent equality of women”?

    One more thing is of making the identity more identical when considering reproducing it in several languages! Like the Hindi font hardly matches with the type that is used in English. I am unsure how much it is viable to remember the brand?

  8. Simple yet full of meaning and very appropriate. This is definitely in tune with Chermayeff Geismar’s timeless work.

    P.S. In this case you have to have two pieces in order to understand the concept of half. An if this turns into an equal sign then you know you have a winner.

  9. I really like the simplicity of this identity. The logo is a great representation of how a design can represent a brand.

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