The United Way
The symbol in United Way signalled to the public this charity's belief in human potential and the possibility of a better future through giving.
For the United Way, the aims of the identity program were to present the organization as an up-to-date charity sensitive to the changing needs of society and to create a single identity for an umbrella organization of more than 2,000 fundraising groups across the United States of America.
Saul Bass described the tripartite logo as a "visual phrase" that symbolized human potential made possible by the existence of United Way: a figure stands on a helping hand beneath a rainbow of hope. In order to combat the considerable resistance to change within the organization, Saul wrote a two-page spread for the in-house magazine. He pointed out that, since the early 1960s, most Fortune 100 companies had changed their images, and asked if United Way could afford to lag behind the business community on which it relied for support.
Most people agreed that the design represented the organization as "vibrant, exciting, colorful, positive, and changing," but some wondered whether the hand was giving or receiving. That i could be read as both, Saul Bass saw as a strength. By stylizing the hand and by linking it to people and the enhancement of life, he embodied the duality of giving and receiving that is at the heart of charity.
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