On designing a logo that better represents your brand

Person writing on notebook

It’s been about a year since we made the decision to change our company name from ‘LoveSteve.com’ to ‘TheSocialMedwork’. Our original name  and logo was of a far more personal dimension – it paid homage to Steve, a close friend of one of our founders who passed away from ALS in 2014. His name represented all patients that we aimed to help as a patients’ buyers club in accessing newly approved medicines.

love steve logo

Unfortunately, the name ‘LoveSteve.com’ caused a bit of confusion. One person thought we were a dating website; another asked if we were an online shop for sex toys. Very far from a social enterprise helping patients gain access to approved medicines (logo fail)!

So, we got a new name, a new logo and new colours. Each element of the logo has a purpose and hidden meaning.  

The power of three

There are three circles in our logo that represent the space in which we operate:

deconstructed social medwork logo

The first circle represents the innovators in the world of medicines  – people who’ve dedicated their lives to finding a cure for cancer; who’ve spotted an anomaly in the early research and development phase and brought that chance discovery further, ensuring it hits production ASAP, developing it into a groundbreaking drug that holds the potential to help millions of patients.

The second circle symbolises the doctor – the one who identifies the patient’s condition, assesses whether the medicine might be able to help the patient and decides on their best course of treatment.

The third and final circle is the most important (which is why we’ve placed it front and centre) and it represents the patient – the one who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and who is desperately seeking all available treatment options – fast.

Our role is to connect these three groups of people – the innovators, the treating doctors and the patients and cut out the middleman as much as possible to ensure that the patient can be treated with the best possible medicines, as quickly as possible.

At the crossroads

Contrary to popular belief, the orange in our logo is not because we’re a Dutch based company! It’s the amber circle in the traffic light:

traffic light logo

If we use the traffic light as a metaphor for the status of patients’ treatments, green (go) is the colour of patients who are able to be treated via the standard protocols of their country, with a medicine that is already available there.

Red (stop) represents patients who unfortunately don’t have any treatment options to explore, whether that’s because they’ve exhausted all existing ones or because there are simply none that exist yet.

The amber or orange light (change, cross if it is safe to do so) represents the patients that we were founded to help. These patients have often run out of treatment options in their home country. There’s a treatment that’s just received approval elsewhere, but it will take years to reach the patient via his or her own country’s approval process. We help the patient by utilising the existing personal importation laws of his or her country and working closely with wholesalers to import each individual medicine for each individual named patient (much more complicated than it sounds! Hint: there’s a lot of paperwork involved). In this way the medicine can be safely and legally delivered directly to the patient and administered by their treating doctor, avoiding the hassle and cost of flying overseas for treatment.

a version of the social medwork logo

The shield symbolises the safe environment within which this connection takes place and represents the highly regulated structure we work in to protect and ensure the best service and quality for our patients and their treating doctors (we only ever offer medicines that have been approved by reputable agencies such as the FDA or EMA).

The cross of course symbolises healthcare, and together with the inside of the shield, are transparent, representing our undertaking to be transparent in everything that we do, from prices to the information provided about the efficacy of each medicine. We believe that transparency forms the foundation for solutions. Our hope is that the service we provide will ultimately transform the global market where information about medicines is shared openly and in a way that firmly empowers patients. We hope to also one day analyse the data that our community chooses to share, making it readily accessible to all; providing the latest insights and therefore fueling the precedence for more clinical trials and hopefully faster approvals worldwide.

And the silver shield outline? There’s a saying in Dutch: "spreken is zilver, zwijgen is goud" – “speech is silver, silence is golden”. The silver colour represents our disruptive approach as a startup to speak out when you see a situation that needs improving, rather than accepting the status quo.