The Diabetes Link Logo and Brand Design
Cristina Roth launched the College Diabetes Network to serve as a resource for students like herself—those who felt isolated, didn’t have enough information about the disease, and wanted a supportive community.
The organization has grown significantly since Roth founded it while attending school in 2009: Now a national network that serves young adults in addition to students, today it is known as The Diabetes Link, reflecting its broader audience and reach.
To match its new name and brand, and connect with that expanded audience, “The Link” needed a new visual identity as well—one that reflects its goals and mission while inspiring engagement and action. When Spark Impact (a Chalkbox client working with the organization on brand strategy) made an introduction, we were excited to help.
Laying the foundation
The Link is near and dear to all those involved, and similar to the extensive brand strategy process, the brand identity piece of the puzzle required a lot of effort to get just right. We were fortunate to have a wealth of information from the strategy sessions; this served as a foundation for our work.
After distilling the key elements into a creative brief that would inform our work and interactions with The Link’s stakeholders, we focused deeply on the audience and what their needs are, the mission and vision of the organization, and goals for the future. We worked closely with board members—taking part in a number of critical conversations, brainstorming sessions, and iteration to find the appropriate direction.
Evaluating other organizations
While The Link doesn’t really have “competitors” in the traditional business sense, we did want to research the look and feel of other resources for those with diabetes. This included nonprofits that serve youth and adults, along with organizations that offer equipment, treatment, and other services. We found a lot of red, a lot of muted blues, and a lot of elements that felt as if they belonged in a hospital.
Those approaches simply didn’t fit with The Link’s audience or mission—as a resource hub for young people seeking support and information, the organization needed to project energy, vibrance, and potential. It was vital for that to shine through in our work.
Concepts and collaboration
Working in close collaboration with The Link’s board members and brand consultants, we went through an exhaustive iterative process. It was critical to keep all project stakeholders focused on what was best for the audience, rather than personal likes and dislikes—this can be more difficult with a large group of people so passionate about their organization’s mission.
Conversations were always lively and meaningful as we reviewed possible directions, looking through a multitude of sketches and early digital concepts. This open communication was important, as it ultimately allowed us to land on a direction that aligned perfectly with the overall brand strategy.
Energy and enthusiasm
The final brand identity is energetic and colorful, evoking movement and community while maintaining a warm, trustworthy feel. The mark captures the experience of being welcomed into The Diabetes Link, gaining information, feeling supported, and discovering a true community, before springing forward into a future that is richer and brighter than it was before.
We paired the identity with a typeface that is youthful yet serious, offering a touch of personality that is distinct but not over the top. Together, this flexible and versatile brand package will serve The Diabetes Link across digital and print assets—helping the organization and its members continue to reach new heights.