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The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) commissioned rayogram to create a new identity for the concept of Information & Referral.

The 1,200 organizational and 200 individual members in the United States, Canada, and overseas improve access to services for all people through quality information and referral (I&R). AIRS provides a professional umbrella for all I&R providers in both public and private organizations.

We worked closely with the AIRS core team to identify their organization as:

a convener of I&R professionals (bringing specialties together)
a standard-bearer (providing standards to the field, accreditation, credential)
technologically adept

Brand strategy

We created a new brand strategy for I&R to reach a broad audience of AIRS members, their funders and clients.

Comprehensive and specialized I&R programs operate as a critical component of the health and human service delivery system—helping people in every community.

This strategy was designed to bridge the gap between consumer and business-to-business appeals while being results-oriented and ‘declarative’, defining the value I&R brings. This brand strategy included a visual mark, style guide and tag line defining the value of Information & Referral.

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I&R tagline

We identified the most clear, direct definition of I&R steering clear of jargon to illustrate its inherent value.

Information & Referral: assisting people with helpful community services

This tagline intentionally uses an active verb that does not under- or oversell I&R services. It addresses ‘people’ as a whole not singling out ‘people in need’. And it incorporates the important concept of ‘help’ and ‘community services’

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I&R Logotype

There were no clear norms to follow while designing for the I&R industry but we made a point to avoid common and overused visual elements such as telephone iconography, communication waveforms and other generic graphic flourishes.

The new I&R logotype is an innovative rendering of the letters I and R. “I&R” is a recognized mnemonic for “Information and Referral”. Adhering to this convention builds on existing understanding both within and outside of current industry members.

The use of type for the tagline attached to the logotype is simple and conservative, allowing the message to transfer clearly and easily.

Logotype Considerations

AIRS’ I&R mark distinguishes itself with its simplicity and witty combination of the predictable letterforms. While simple and direct, the mark evokes values and ideas central to AIRS’ concept of Information and Referral:

The rendering of the “I” in the logotype reminds us of the familiar information icon commonly seen in all manner of media

The particular lowercase, italic “i” was chosen to evoke the personal humanity central to I&R activities.

The use of positive and negative space in the mark refers visually to a puzzle piece, communicating an idea of finding the missing piece to make things whole. The elegant gesture of finding the “i” in the “R” suggests the general idea of finding something hidden in plain sight.