Pentagram uplifting brand for mental health

Created by Paula Scher and her team, the identity focuses on a ‘square peg in a round hole’ icon that signifies there is no normal when it comes to mental health.

“Cole’s hope was that everyone sometimes has emotional issues and that everyone needs to be able to feel like it’s OK to feel that way and to talk about it and get help if they need it,” Scher explains. “I equated that feeling of not being emotionally stable to feeling like a square peg in a round hole. I wanted to create a symbol and system that could be universally recognised and take away the sanitarium aspect of mental health.”

The icon illustrates that there is no ‘normal’ when it comes to mental health and that everyone fits despite how it might feel. Set in the typeface Druk by Commercial Type, the chunky black letterforms are set against a rainbow of colours, which has been applied to business cards, stationery, the website and a set of posters which feature powerful phrases.

The Druk typeface is used again here to signal its connection to the Coalition. Likewise a bright but slightly more varied colour palette has been applied to represent the broad spectrum of mental health conditions, while also capturing a sense of optimism and hope.

For Scher, she felt it was her and her team’s responsibility to create an engaging but safe space. “I think the graphics have to be powerful and accessible, not timid or sedate, and allow people to feel like it’s OK to come into the site and participate,” she says.

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