A Brand Finds Their Stride
In 2018, the groundbreaking event, America’s Run for the Fallen, hit the pavement in Fort Irwin, CA. It continued cross-country through 19 states over the course of four months. Names of fallen service members were read at every mile marker through the 6,000-mile journey. Gold star families and supporters gathered to hear their hero’s name read. Each fallen hero since the bombing of the USS Cole in October of 2000 was honored in this way.
The event was led by the parent organization Honor & Remember and had the support of the Department of Defense. It became one of the most comprehensive and successful tributes to our fallen military members this country has ever seen. We were moved by the remarkable message, the energy, and the amazing team of organizers. Spend any time with their founder, George Lutz, and you will be too.
We started the partnership by designing a key piece for the event – a 30ft motorhome that provided a place to gather and rest. Over 20,000 names of fallen soldiers wove across the surface of the RV like the threads of a tapestry. Throughout the country, family and friends found solace in finding the names of their loved ones.
After America’s Run for the Fallen concluded, the organization approached us to help evolve their brand design. The run across America was a one-time event, but the program races on. Honor & Remember has held individual state runs for several years. The national event gained the attention of more states looking to hold their own runs. As the cause continued to grow, the need for brand consistency became necessary.
Our approach was sympathetic and methodical. The sentiment and power of this event live in photographs. As a result, the branding system needed to support the visuals without pulling focus. Most of the imagery from the runs contain American flags and other patriotic symbols. We developed a color palette with deep military green, shades of tan, and steel grey. These neutral tones complement the red, white, and blue imagery without overpowering it.
The new logo symbolizes stability, strength, and endurance. It is a tribute to both the fallen soldiers and the loved ones they left behind. We chose a square gothic style font for its clear legibility and bold geometric shape. The line at the bottom of the logo represents the road that participants run. As a foundational element, it supports the weight of the logo, just as Run for the Fallen supports the military community. To honor their existing logo, we refined the battlefield cross illustration with color and line work. The battlefield cross is a recognizable symbol of respect to honor fallen soldiers. Its distinct meaning adds context to designs and creates recognition of the event within the community.
Next, we implemented the new brand design system into their marketing materials and a new website. With such a large – and growing community – it was important to create a clear structure for the website. We streamlined the user experience by consolidating information and reworking the site navigation. New participants can easily find times and locations for local runs, look up where a hero’s name will be read, or offer donations. The new website is a place where the community can come together to celebrate and honor our fallen heroes.
We can’t emphasize enough the value and integrity of their team, and are very proud to be part of this incredible undertaking. Over the last two years we have enjoyed our partnership with Run for the Fallen and cannot wait for Arizona’s run on October 18th – 20th.