Richard Yinkah founded DIVOG, Disaster Volunteers of Ghana, in 1997. The organization has since served over 50 communities and hosted over 1,000 international volunteers throughout the Volta region, building schools, sanitation facilities, health care clinics and more.
DIVOG wanted to set up a stateside fundraising structure, and approached us to brand the “American Friends of DIVOG.” We took a step back to simplify the problem.
Rather than creating a whole new brand, we found an easier solution: rebrand DIVOG so that it makes sense in Ghana and in America. We wanted this new brand to highlight their unique approach to community development—one based on empowerment instead of charity, and sustainable partnerships instead of fleeting relationships.
Like these beautiful people, this name and visual expression had to be Ghanaian: bright, hopeful and inspiring.
During an all-day session with our Ghanaian friends, we asked them to translate a host of Ewe words into English in the hopes of finding this name. After many failed attempts, we asked the jackpot question, “What's the word for talent or gift?”
The answer came with a smile, “Adanu. It means artistic, collaborative wisdom.”
For the visual language, we took cues from the sun—as the ultimate symbol of optimism—and from West African Kente cloth and Adinkra symbols. An explosion of Ghanaian colors, textures and patterns emerged.
Taking a simple approach and using solid black - a color that carries strong positive symbolism in the region - on top of a limited and bright color palette, we created a system that shines as a bold, modern take on African-inspired imagery. Each shape within the system carries its own meaning and together they create a unique and unspoken language for the Adanu brand.
Want to learn more about Adanu or get involved? Follow them here.