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October 15, 2014

It's Blog Action Day! Theme: #inequality

By Katherine Dodds

#Inequality! A topic well worth a
blog day of action. Tonight in Montreal "The Price We Pay" is a relevant film on this topic

One of the lasting legacies of Occupy Wall Street has been the meme the “99%” A sense of injustice that the economic crash exposed unified many individuals and organizations. This sense of profound unfairness, of the depth of inequality we are facing is the activist battle of our times.

And the fight for economic justice will be long and hard. People with power and money do not give it up so easily. They are very good at looking for loopholes. The root cause of so many of the problems we face in the world – poverty, war, and human rights abuses, women's rights, GLTBQ rights, even climate change, all have economic inequality at their core.

This economic injustice and the outrage it rightly causes in so many people,  is at the root of a great new film by our friend Harold Crooks (The Corporation, Pax Americana) – his new documentary “The Price We Pay” about tax havens just launched to much fanfare at the Toronto and Vancouver Film Festivals. It also screens tonight in Montreal through Cinema Politica. 

This day is also the day we are launching our new portfolio site – and we’re choosing to feature the work we've recently done for one of our favorite clients — Inter Pares.

Inter Pares' name means "Among Equals" and they are an organization that takes this very seriously. In fact, it has become their brand! We did a year long branding process for them, doing a communications audit, conducting workshops with staff, surveying their counterparts and donors, and a large survey of the public in both English and French. As an organization that has been around since the 1070’s they needed an update to their image, and tools to tell their story. And theirs is story that needs to be told.

Inter Pares is based in Ottawa. They have long-term relationships with their counterparts -- local and national activist organizations – in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Canada. 

Their staff is all paid equally, and instead of staffing offices overseas, they work in support of local groups. They believe, as they say on their new website in “solidarity, not charity as an approach to international cooperation.” Their programs largely focus on six global issues: food sovereignty, women's equality, peace and democracy, economic justice, health and migration.

The challenge we had was to compellingly – and quickly—convey their essence – to distill their 40 year history of working with courageous activists around important and often difficult issues into an image and tagline that will help them gain new supporters in a noisy non-profit climate where everyone is in need of donor dollars.

The new logo, has a hand-made feeling (something our market research told us was important). A calligraphic brush stroke implies the world, it’s blue green colours and gesture bring the north and south together, and their tagline ‘globalize equality’, ‘mondalisier l’égalité’, is the very core of what is at stake. In a world where globalization is causing inequality, poverty, violence and so many of the problems society faces, it’s time to globalize the root cure -- equality is the answer we are all seeking.

We’re really proud that we were able to contribute to the work that Inter Pares is doing. Based on the public’s survey feedback we came up with an illustration style that could be used for their website and other materials that has the same feeling as the logo. These illustrations are based on Inter Pares own photos, and are part of the new website Inter Pares just launched.

We also did a display banner for them and thanks to a donor who paid for the ad space we did a full page ad for them in The Walrus magazine.

Inter Pares is one of the reasons we love our work so much! Together we’ve been able to take the idea what we at Hello Cool World call ‘social branding’ to a whole new level. At it’s core, social branding embodies the idea of equality – a brand, a logo, an image and especially a tagline, should be a tool for collaboration, for telling stories together, not an empty brand promise to simply sell us on business as usual. With Inter Pares, we are able to challenge ‘branding as usual’ and embrace the work that will transform the world.

We encourage you to visit Inter Pares new website and to support the important work they do!

Our own relationship with Inter Pares goes beyond having them as a client. They were one of the first organizations to come on board to support The Corporation film when it was in development, and now, a decade after this launch they partnered with us on our crowd funding campaign to get the film free to 1000 schools. Inter Pares came on board as a community partner and hosted a screening of the film at the recent People’s Social Forum in August.

Tag(s): Blogging

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