What does Evanston, Illinois, have in common with Tibet? How do you represent the relationship not only between cultures, but between different aspects of a new organization? We recently set out to translate the mission of Tsogyaling Meditation Center of Evanston into a new brand identity and web site.
Founders Asang and Nancy Floy decided to open a school for nomad girls in Tibet about a year or so ago. In a matter of months, they raised more than the $6,000 needed to start classes for ten young women in the fall of 2008. Donations from a weekly meditation class at Heartwood Center — as well as other fundraisers — provided the foundation needed to establish Tsogyaling and they asked Grotto to help them create a web site and logo.
Asang and Nancy provided dozens of photographs of thangkas (painted Tibetan scrolls), the school’s spiritual director Lopon Konchog Dechen, and the girls currently attending Tibet Girls School. They taught me that Tsogyaling refers to “place of Tsogyal” and that the legendary teacher Yeshe Tsogyal’s name means “Victorious Lake of Wisdom”. Nancy even braved a bracing January morning to get a shot of Lake Michigan and our ideas for the identity system began to gel.
An energetic blue wave evokes the lakes of Tibet and Evanston’s Lake Michigan shore in the logo. Rather than relegate the girls school into a subcategory of the brand, Tibet Girls School takes its place equally with the meditation center. And the web site further unites them with the added visual depth of photographs, artwork and textiles that celebrate the colorful cultural elements of that faraway Asian culture and of the center that nourishes it here in the U.S.
We are delighted to be part of this important endeavor and look forward to celebrating the center and the school at Losar, the Tibet New Year Festival, Friday, February 27, 2009. For more information about this benefit — to be held at Wild Tree Café in Evanston — check out the Celebrate Losar invitation. See you there!