The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes brand has come to mean many things to many people. For the mother searching for sports opportunities for her child who is blind, USABA is empowering. For the person who sees a runner and their guide while running a marathon, USABA is inspiring. For the young athlete who discovered goalball at a sports education camp, trained to be the best in the world and is one day asked to represent Team USA on the biggest international stage for athletes who are blind and visually impaired, to that Paralympic medalist, USABA is life-changing.
While a brand extends beyond the visual representation of a logo, especially with an organization like USABA, serving constituents who only “see” the logo through visual descriptions, a logo is nonetheless important. USABA’s logo design was developed more than 20 years ago under the leadership of former USABA Executive Director, Charlie Huebner, and has remained a facet of the organization ever since.
But as time passes, logos are often in need of updating. USABA decided to update its logo in an effort to stay current with digital media trends and standardize brand colors for consistency. The update comes just over a year after the Board of Directors approved an update to the organization’s mission when they helped develop USABA’s strategic plan through 2020.
“USABA has a strong logo,” said Courtney Patterson, Marketing Manager at USABA. “We didn’t want to lose the patriotism in the red and blue, nor the symbolism of the Braille B, but in order to keep up with the needs we’re seeing in the digital space, the files needed an update.”
The team kept the original logo design – block USABA letters in red and blue with smaller text underneath spelling out the name of the organization – but enhanced features of the design such as font and color.
“We updated the text underneath the block letters to be heavier and extended the text to the full width of the logo,” said Patterson. “The new font (Helvetica Neue Bold) is more pronounced but still simple and easy to read.”
As mentioned above, USABA was set on keeping the patriotic colors that communicate the organization’s commitment to Americans who are blind and visually impaired, but did update the shading. The colors in the updated logo now more closely align with colors used by other sports organizations across the country, communicating a shared vision and passion for sports in the U.S.
Updating the USABA logo also speaks to the evolution and continued growth of USABA. Established in 1976, the organization has served thousands of people who are blind and visually impaired and continues to work towards its vision of empowering every American who is blind or visually impaired to lead a healthy lifestyle by actively participating in sports, recreation and physical activity.
Logo description: Wide rectangle space with evenly spaced block letters USABA. The U and S, standing for United States are a dark red and the ABA, for Association of Blind Athletes, are a deep blue, signifying our organization’s patriotism, and commitment to Americans who are blind and visually impaired. The B between the two A’s uses negative space to create the Braille B which is two dots, one directly above the other. Simple black text below the block letters spells out the name of the organization in all capital letters.
USABA worked with Orlando-based graphic designer, Keenan Ernde to update the organization’s logo.