A focus on Foco

New logo for Cancer Council by VCCP Sydney

Cancer Council logo before and after
Cancer Council logo before and after

Cancer Council Australia is a national, not-for-profit organisation which aims to promote cancer-control policies and to reduce the impact of cancer in Australia. It was founded in 1969 as the Australian Cancer Society and includes eight member organisations which operate in their individual states and territories under the same name. It is the only organisation that works across every area of cancer; it advises various groups, including the government, on cancer-related issues, provides support for cancer patients and their carers, and is a major funding contributor towards health research, prevention and education. (Wikipedia)

Old Cancer Council logo
Old Cancer Council logo

Both the old and the new logos feature a simple representation of a daffodil, which the Council indicates is a global symbol of hope. It is also said to symbolise rebirth and new beginnings, renewal and vitality, so it seems a very fitting symbol for a cancer charity. In fact, it’s used by charities around the world, such as the Irish Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society, and… Marie Curie in the UK. Hmm. I just noticed something which I’ll get to in a moment!

You wouldn’t think it, but the text was set in Helvetica; however, the sterility and deafening silence of Helvetica’s usual presence was all but absent here, due to the use of a decidedly friendlier, rounded version of the typeface. The text had also been stretched horizontally – a type crime any other day of the week – but it held up reasonably well in this instance; that is to say, it was almost unnoticeable. My only quibble about the logo, then, would be the relationship between the text and the daffodil. I feel the latter was too large for the lockup.

New Cancer Council logoNew Cancer Council logo (reversed)

The new logo includes the same daffodil motif but with tweaks to the petals, which now have pointy tips where previously they were rounded. Is it meant to be a truer representation of the flower? You can have a look at these pictures of daffodils and come to your own conclusion. Either way it looks fine and I doubt the average person would notice the change.

Onto the text and the new typeface is Foco, a humanist sans-serif with playful details that make it easily recognisable and a good choice for branding. These details also complement the pointy tips of the daffodil, and lend the typeface a subtle, sympathetic voice that suits the brand. Now, it would appear that the Cancer Council isn’t the first charity to adopt Foco in its communications. While looking at the websites of the aforementioned international charities, I noticed that Marie Curie uses the same typeface! Coincidence? Who knows. Lastly, the colour of the text has become a deeper, bluer blue, which feels a bit more sophisticated and is a nice contrast to the yellow. Overall, a great update for Cancer Council.

Below: national TVC for the new brand campaign, featuring the new logo at the end… and the old logo everywhere else.

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