​We were planning to save it for a big splash at our conference in Rimouski in October, but COVID-19 had other plans. Instead we decided to make a bunch of little splashes, starting with this official announcement: the CRRF Board is pleased to present … our new logo!

The project has been in the works for a couple of years, but was discussed for longer than that. I remember us talking about it in 2015 when I was chair of the Summerside conference organizing committee. We wanted to print a large banner, so went looking for a high-res version of the artwork. After asking the many presidents who had steered our ship since the first logo was designed nearly 30 years ago, we realized it just didn’t exist. So the question arose: should we pay to get it redrawn? Or should we bite the bullet and get a new one? After all, rural Canada – and CRRF – have become so much more than what our original logo represents.

We opted for the latter.

In 2018, we struck a logo subcommittee, with the indomitable Bojan Fürst at the helm. He was joined by his Harris Centre colleague Rebecca Cohoe, along with board and former board members Kristin Catherwood, Valencia Gaspard, Craig Pollett, and Bill Reimer. After many soul-searching conversations trying to hammer out what exactly we wanted (such as just what does CRRF stand for?), a call for proposals went out, with the caveat that the designer had to be from rural Canada.

Along came Marieke de Roos, a freelance designer who was born and raised in rural Nova Scotia, to where she returned after studying Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal. While raising her two daughters, Marieke tapped into her entrepreneurial spirit and began a small freelance graphic design and communications operation. This has now grown to a full-time business, where she enjoys helping non-profit organizations communicate and represent themselves authentically and purposefully.

After a bit (okay, a LOT!) of backing-and-forthing (sorry, Marieke), we settled on this design. Voilà!

Here are Marieke’s thoughts on the design.

“The form in this logo is composed of undulating stripes of blue and green, with an intersection occurring in the middle. These crossroads serve as a visual anchor, but also represent a question many rural individuals, families, and businesses are faced with: Why do we choose to live rurally? This juncture serves as a visual reminder of those strong convictions for rural life – a life that often includes challenges and resilience compared to an urban counterpart.

“The raw, hand-drawn lines of the blue background offer an organic feel, influenced by the natural landscape that is unequivocally associated with rural life. The rounded-square form includes one pointed corner, representing the guidance and leadership that the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF) provides through its research and support.”

We couldn’t have asked for anything better. The Board is extremely grateful to Marieke for taking our vision and turning it into this beautiful piece of art that will grace our newsletters, website, social media pages, letterhead, reports, marketing materials. May it serve us well for the next 30 years. And we’re looking forward to getting a great big banner printed for the conference in Rimouski next year!

To see more of Marieke de Roos’ work, visit her website at www.marieke.ca.

Written by Laurie Brinklow