The Asia Center for Human Rights (ACHR) has recently changed its name: Human Asia. By the time we decided that we would have to give up on our ambition to begin afresh with a new name and logo, faced with tough budget choices, a helping hand came our way, telling us to steer clear of frustration; President Han Suk-hyeon and members of IDIUS (www.idius.co.kr) have gladly donated their brilliant talent in designing and image making to create a fresh CI (Corporate Identity)for Human Asia.
In this issue of Hurasia, we met with members of IDIUS, who are taking the lead in pro bono activities.
Q1. It’s great to meet you. Could you please introduce IDIUS to our readers?
First of all, I have to tell you all members of IDIUS are feeling great about having had the opportunity to do the identity design work for Human Asia.
IDIUS is a creative branding company that aims at supporting visual communication activities between businesses or government bodies and consumers.
With a structured and professional branding strategy built on our vast experience, we specialize in designing various communication tools at customer touch-points, ranging from CI and BI (Brand Identity) to packages, brochures, and POP (Point of Purchase) materials.
Providing such a comprehensive set of design works, we aim at helping develop efficient and sensitive "power brands" that can resonate with and be loved by consumers.
Q2. Thank you so much for the great work you have done with the new CI for Human Asia. Indeed, we are surprised ourselves about how the new CI is already receiving such an enthusiastic response. I understand that IDIUS has been actively engaged in pro bono projects for various organizations besides us. When and how did you start thinking about doing such work? Tell us if there was a specific incident that led you to pick up pro bono work.
Our company has worked on pro bono projects since 2008. We designed the CIs for organizations like "Children Walking Together" and "Beautiful Mind", a cultural charity group. We also worked together with "Wolgok Comprehensive Social Welfare Center" to design the CI for "Onbaro", a social enterprise recognized by the Seoul metropolitan government. Although we haven’t been able to carry out pro bono projects in large numbers, each and every project we pursued has proved to be very rewarding. We feel proud that we are making what little contribution we can to this society with our talent in designing.
Also, pro bono projects give us a chance to think once again about social issues, which are sometimes easy for us to overlook, and to pay more attention to the socially marginalized. In this regard, we gain more from talent donation than we give.
Q3. What was your focus in designing our CI? Could you explain to our readers what message you intended to deliver through the logo or what it stands for?
Developing the Human Asia CI was a bit of an unfamiliar experience to us as we hadn’t had much opportunity to get serious about human rights issues. Because we did not know much about this area, we did our research on a broad range of human rights issues before getting started. We also worked hard to figure out what sets your organization apart from many other international human rights groups.
After much consideration, we wanted to give a distinctive feel to the image of Human Asia, starting from its name; "Human Asia,"which we figured is quite simple yet very effective in conveying the organization’s image as a human rights group. So we wanted to give prominence to this verbal identity and make the fullest use of it in designing the CI.
Secondly, to differentiate Human Asia from many other famous human rights groups, we wanted its CI to symbolize the Asian region rather than human rights in general.
We used a simplified map of Asia as the background frame and put the logo "Human Asia" in the foreground to make it look clear. Also, utilizing the letter "M" in "Human" as a symbol of two people facing each other, we tried to revive the meaning of human rights.
And we intended to express human rights, a relatively serious topic, as a brighter and more cheerful image. The overall idea was to express the fact that the organizationand its activities are open to anyone rather than just to human rights activists, so that young people can find it easier and more enjoyable to take part.
Q4. Do you sometimes have difficulties, concerns or even conflicts over the talent donation activities you work on? If so, how do you resolve them? Conversely, when do you find the activities rewarding?
Pro bono projects provide designers with opportunities to express their creativity to the fullest, unlike ordinary projects for businesses where theyare often required to meet the marketing needs or the clients’ demands rather than making the most of their creativity.
In this regard, the Human Asia project was very enjoyable. We tried this and that, and even some odd ideas, and tried to use many different approaches to the design work.
The project was particularly helpful to us because it gave us a rare opportunity to deal with human rights issues. We don’t usually get to think about social issues with ordinary projects, but the Human Asia project raised our consciousness about social human rights issues and helped us to learn to think from a broader perspective.
Q5. Last but not least, do you have anything to say to encourage those who want to share what they have but are hesitating simply because they don’t know how to get started?
We believe all the pro bono projects we worked on, including the Human Asia project, have helped us think more open-mindedly. All too often, people tend to think issues regarding poor children or human rights are somebody else’s problem that has nothing to do with them, but the project awakened us to how such problems are affecting our close neighbors.
Once people realize such issues are not somebody else’s problem and that we're all in this together as members ofa human community, they will probably find it easier to share their talent. In particular, we believe talent donation is not an option but a must for those working in specialized fields such as design. We expect talent donation will help make our society a more caring and compassionate place.
editted by Intern Sangrae Cho, Human Asia
translated by Yanghee Kim (Graduate School of Interpretation & Translation Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)