The next breast thing

New logo for National Breast Cancer Foundation by RE

National Breast Cancer Foundation logo before and after
National Breast Cancer Foundation logo before and after

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is the leading community-funded national organisation in Australia, supporting and promoting research for the prevention and cure of breast cancer. Since its establishment in 1994, over $162 million has been awarded to 514 research projects across Australia to improve the health and well-being of breast cancer patients. In this time, 5-year breast cancer survival rates have improved from 76% to 90%. Research programs funded by NBCF cover every aspect of breast cancer, from increasing understanding of genetics to improving ways to support women and their families. (About Us)

This year marks NBCF’s 25th anniversary and the new logo is the first major update to the brand identity since the Foundation started.

Old National Breast Cancer Foundation logo
Old logo

The old logo featured a pink ribbon – which is, of course, the international symbol of breast cancer awareness – and indeed it resembled the sorts of ribbons that one can buy to support the cause. It was in a rough brushstroke style which I felt was rather unique and, to me, spoke to the “warrior” mindset of the strong, brave women (and men) who battle breast cancer every day.

The type was set in the stately Trajan, an elegant serif which is typically suited to grand and important inscriptions such as on monuments and public buildings. But here, it looked too fragile and its razor sharp serifs too stinging alongside the thick-stroked, calming pink ribbon. The relationship between the type and the ribbon was also unusual, in that the ends of the ribbon were jutting out far below the type. Higher positioning of the ribbon would have made more sense.

New National Breast Cancer Foundation logoNew National Breast Cancer Foundation logo (reversed)

Our new logo encapsulates our strong brand mission. The distinctive new two-tone ribbon represents the coming together of the community and NBCF to create a better tomorrow for those affected by breast cancer. One would not be possible without the other. The inclusion of navy within our new brand colour palette was chosen for its broader appeal to both men and women. Breast cancer does not discriminate according to age or gender, and we wanted our new brand look to better reflect this.

NBCF Facebook comment

The new logo, as before, has a pink ribbon, albeit a more abstract one. Whether or not it’s still identifiable as a ribbon without the context of the words, is up to you. The change to a darker, reddish pink and an added shade is… fine. I mean, I didn’t have a problem with the carnation pink of the old logo; it was feminine, delicate and communicated tenderness. Comparatively, these new pinks are more passionate, more confident, and possibly better align with the ambitious nature of the Foundation (namely in its research goals).

The type is uniformly set in Modern Era, a warmer and much more functional typeface than Trajan, and is suited for both body copy and display titles. Its low stroke contrast, pronounced arcs and bevelled stroke joints lend it an idiosyncratic, friendly character, and I appreciate that the type is in a heavier weight as it counterbalances the visual weight of the ribbon. The use of navy has been rationalised and works perfectly well with the pink.

National Breast Cancer Foundation 25 Years of Impact lockup
25 Years of Impact lockup which incorporates the ribbon graphic

Overall, the new logo is an improvement. While I disapprove of the ribbon graphic veering too far from its much more recognisable predecessor, I simultaneously appreciate its boldness and the way it can be worked into other graphics such as the figure “25” above. With its warmer appearance, better visual balance and sound typography, I think the new logo has a great chance of survival.