For almost 20 years, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) has been training new and incoming synagogue presidents through its highly successful Sulam program. The goal of Sulam, which means ladder in Hebrew, is to address issues critical to leading a synagogue and to create a network among alumni for the ongoing sharing of best practices.
Recent extensive research that led to a new strategic plan identified leadership development as a critical need within synagogues. Training presidents alone was no longer sufficient. It became clear that cultivating a cadre of leaders who could learn, grow and ultimately progress into the presidency or other synagogue leadership roles was key for many synagogues which struggle to fill these positions.
“Our goal is to create a continuum of leadership experiences so that kehillot not only can plan for succession, but that by the time someone is ready to become president of a kehilla, he or she will have the knowledge, skills, network, and inspiration to lead it into the most compelling place of Jewish meaning and purpose imaginable. More than that, he or she will have a critical mass of partners within the kehilla, lay and professional, who share a common vision and are prepared to work together in partnership to achieve it.”
With the emphasis on leadership, I decided to incorporate the word “leadership” directly into the new logo (thus eliminating the need for a tag line) along with the suggestion of a ladder that climbs upward from the “E” in that word. I created an “umbrella” logo which identifies the Sulam family of leadership programs in general, and then, by using color, created subsets for each of the 3 Sulam audiences – emerging leaders, current leaders and presidents. The colors used suggest solidity; each is strong and bold in contrast to the whimsical colors previously used. Below are the new Sulam logos; the “umbrella” logo appears first, followed by the other 3:
The new logos will appear consistently on all training materials, curricula, workbooks, correspondence, publicity, web and electronic communications. The colors work to distinguish one from another; ultimately, with familiarity, each color will become easily identified with its cohort.
Designing effective logos involves a great deal of strategic thinking. To achieve successful outcomes, it is critical to:
- Define goals
- Identify the audience
- Know the mission
- Understand usage and
- Determine brand personality…
BEFORE beginning the creative process; and the process of asking and answering questions is best accomplished when the client and the designer work together as a team, each adding their own perspective on the product or service.