A Symbol of Courage and Hope
We were approached by the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton to come up with a way to combat the declining sense of value we place on certain lives. The Church wanted to emphasize its teaching that human dignity is inherent and not based on wealth, ability, looks, career status, age, or any other arbitrary criteria. Because so many who struggle with a sense of self worth can be vulnerable to negative messaging that tells them they need to measure up, they wanted to create a campaign that reaches out to those who are vulnerable to tell them that their life does have value and meaning and purpose. The message was designed in the hopes of reaching those who are at risk of self harm or suicide by encouraging them with a message of hope and by sharing stories of courage by those who have struggles of their own but still manage to find a sense of self worth and value.
For the name, we wanted something that was easy to remember, short, and easily shared online. We came up with the acronym ELM which stands for Every Life Matters. The elm tree came to mind as a symbol of strength, life, and courage.
Once we had the name, the symbol seemed obvious, but the challenge was to create something that was unique. Trees are used a lot in logos, so this was no simple task. We wanted to portray something that had vitality and motion but also a sense of peace, benevolence, and nobility. We think the end result captured exactly what we were aiming at.