Co.Design

A Fresh Identity for the Girl Scouts of America

The world's largest organization for girls gets a much-needed face-lift.

With over 3 million members across the country in over 100 councils, the Girl Scouts of America means more than just Thin Mints—it's the world's largest organization for young women. As part of a new strategic decision to better engage girls with more relevant programming and activities, the Girl Scouts received a much-needed identity update by The Original Champions of Design, Jennifer Kinon and Bobby Martin.

Notable, but subtle, are the changes to the "trefoil" shape (yes, that's the same logo that's rendered into a tasty shortbread cookie). The existing logo was drawn by logo great Saul Bass in 1978, but has become decidedly dated when it comes to the scouts' hairstyles and elongated faces. Kinon and Martin worked with illustrators Joe Finocchiaro and Jasper Goodall, adding more stylish, youthful bangs and more realistic, perky noses to make these girls more like the young scouts of today.

Besides updating the logo, a new typeface was needed. The designers used the typeface Avenir and modified it slightly, employing the lowercase version of the letters to make the words more approachable. The trefoil was set at the end, and slightly above the wordmark, almost like punctuation for the word, and also, say the designers, "proudly leading the way like the prow of a ship."

Playing with the trefoil pattern was another way to create a fun, graphically interesting take on the recognizable shape. Each Girl Scouts Council means business; there are over 100 councils in the U.S. and each is its own corporation. That nice green is PMS 355: Girl Scout Green.

By 2012 the Girl Scouts will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a smart new look that hopefully appeals to a new generation of girls and young women. And yes, let's hope it sells plenty of cookies as well.

[OCD]

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10 Comments

  • timpassco

    STAY WITH THE FIRST ONE. GO TO CROCHETBYNUMBERSNC.COM AND WE WILL MAKE A PATTERN FOR IT THAT YOU CAN CROCHET.
     

  • J C

    The original symbol and signature are so much more powerful. It is a Brand with a capital B.
    The new design, in lower case, poor placement of the symbol right of and above the signature, makes no sense.
    Just look at the two next to each other. The old identity has really got "it" while the new one, seems like a bit of a typo being in all lower case. The weight is too heavy too. Awkward and inelegant.
    The hairstyles will change again and, then what?
    They should have kept the original and highly recognizable classic as is. Timeless, as much of Saul Bass work is.

  • Ruthe Farmer

    The organization is NOT called Girl Scouts of America. It is Girl Scouts of the USA. I don't get why nearly everyone gets this wrong.

  • georgianeighbor

    Well, it was the Girl Scouts of America when I was in it.  When did it change its name?

  • Kimberly Otsuka

    I am a little hesitant when updating a well known logo. For almost 100 years girls around the world have recognized the original Girl Scout logo. Why change it if it works? I understand that the logo may be a little out of date and change is good but is it always necessary?
    The one change I do like is the typeface. The new typeface seems more youthful. I also like the concept behind the new placement of the trefoil. It leads your eyes across the page.
    -CKR Interactive Intern
    www.ckrinteractive.com

  • Matt Walker

    I hope they didn't pay much for this. The changes are so minimal it's barely worth the cost of reprinting everything.

  • Elizabeth Carey Smith

    I think the updates are all quite relevant and good, with the exception of their mouths ... are we assuming the young girls of America have all gotten collagen? Duck mouths!

    I also question why the shapes of the noses, mouths and chins are all the same; slight variations would have reflected a bit more diversity.

  • Valerie M

    A nicely executed update, but it's unfortunate that Saul Bass's beautiful designs are gradually being fazed out. I also think the lowercase type is a bit trendy. I don't foresee the type treatment lasting as long as the original.