Facing rejection is tough. Imagine having to experience it many times over. This is what many ex-offenders go through even after serving their terms, which is why it is important for ISCOS to be that place of welcome, and that symbol of friendship to help ISCOS’ friends find their place in society again. This rebranding exercise would serve its purpose to strengthen the cause and be the Co-op’s friends’ best advocate.
The new identity was launched by Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office at the ISCOS 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner. Through this gala, ISCOS also raised funds for the Yellow Ribbon Fund-ISCOS Fairy Godparent Programme (FGP). FGP is a programme that caters to the academic needs of ex-offenders’ children, as well as mentoring support, enrichment activities, family bonding events, and other family needs. A total of $502,000 was donated by ISCOS’ corporate partners and individuals to FGP this year this year.
What started as a redesign of the logo soon turned into a self-reflection exercise of what it meant to be a part of ISCOS. There are numerous stories that attest to this meaningful relationship – of a volunteer who changed his perspective after he was invited to a dining event in prison, of an ex-offender who remained a loyal friend after a volunteer helped him. These stories of friendship are a familiar refrain to us who serve at ISCOS, but unknown to outsiders.
More than just being there for ex-offenders, ISCOS’s initiatives are also geared towards helping their families. FGP is one such example. The stories and the holistic initiatives as shared by staff and volunteers can now be summed up through this purpose: being the best friend to ex-offenders and their families so as to enable them to find a place in Singapore.
Consulus, ISCOS’ partner throughout this rebranding process, was able to draw out the essence of ISCOS’ work, which is friendship. ISCOS Chairman, Mr Vernon Khoo, who came up with the tagline during the reflection session, shared, “Sometimes we don’t realise that it is there until professionals probe and tease it out of us.”
Much like the people behind ISCOS, the new brand identity reflects the spirit of friendship by combining wings and a heart. The overall experience represents freedom, care and life that ISCOS aims to be for the community of ex-offenders. It reflects the forward-looking mission of ISCOS in thinking ahead of the interests of ex-offenders. The wings also suggest the role of ISCOS in helping ex-offenders find a better future, while the symbol of the heart represents care and dedication.
The colours of the new identity have been chosen to reflect the positive energy at ISCOS. Blue represents the sky, while yellow with a gold tint represents the dawn of a new day. The play of two blues adds the element of movement through shadow, and is presented at an angle.
The CEO of Consulus, Mr Lawrence Chong, shared, “When we first looked at the current logo of ISCOS, it seemed rather bleak and did not do justice to the amazing work done by the team. After the reflection exercise, we were convinced that the volunteers and initiatives of ISCOS should be viewed in a new light. Hopefully, this is the experience that people will get when they look at the new brand identity and change their opinions of ex-offenders.”
About ISCOS (INDUSTRIAL & SERVICES CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY LTD)
ISCOS is a Co-operative with a mission to help ex-offenders and their families. Established in 1989, it has now over 14,000 ex-offender members who have benefited from various programmes and initiatives, from employment and skills training, support and guidance in the community, and other social services.
Through the Yellow Ribbon Fund-ISCOS Fairy Godparent Programme (FGP), ISCOS aims to break the cycle of inter-generational offending by helping families of ex-offenders, particularly young and impressionable children. FGP is anchored on three key components: Student Development, Family Support and Home Environment. The programme provides the children with opportunities to achieve their academic potential so that in the future, they will become contributing members of our society.
Consulus is an Asian innovation consultancy with business management and multi-disciplinary design capabilities. Since 2004, the firm has helped Asian organisations innovate through business strategy, organisational development and brand experience design. www.consulus.com
Vida Ortiz, Manager, Comms & External Relations 9657 2662; firstname.lastname@example.org