Medals4Mettle (M4M) is a non-profit organization formed in 2005 that facilitates the gifting of earned marathon, half marathon, and triathlon finishers’ medals to children and adults dealing with chronic or debilitating illnesses to acknowledge their great mettle and courage in bravely facing these challenges. A nationwide network of volunteers award these medals, with an attached Medals4Mettle ribbon, to those who might not be able to run a race, but are in a race of their own to continue to live their life.
Prior to our involvement, M4M’s identity consisted of an unbranded ribbon design and a logo, albeit a complex one not suitable for broad reproduction across a wide variety of mediums including apparel. Our first task was to extract the spirit and elements of M4M’s original complex logo, into a simplified mark that could provide a cohesive, professional, and unique symbol of the organization. The mark also needed to be able to be strong enough on its own that even without text, it would still convey the nature of the organization. It also needed to be comparable in quality to other well know nationwide charities so that M4M would be taken seriously, and could compete to garner much needed corporate sponsorship.
First, the logo was improved by defining the core elements that encompass the company’s mission — running, medals, and caring. We then incorporated those elements into a cohesive design. Finally, the text was disengaged from the graphic mark so that the mark could stand alone as the organization grew in stature. Next, we developed a color palette and a branded look to be implemented across otherbranded materials such as the M4M medal ribbon, stationery, donation box signage, an overview flyer, race event bag stuffer cards, and apparel. in addition, we also recommended that the ribbon design include the logo and web address to further promote the organization and provide a means of contact for those who are exposed to it.
Before the re-branding effort, M4M had tried for over a year to get a meeting with the NCAA to discuss potential partnership or sponsorship opportunities, but had been unsuccessful. However, after the new brand was unveiled, M4M garnered not only a meeting with the NCAA to discuss a potential partnership, but also an article in Runner’s World magazine and a flood of eager volunteers to the cause. The number of chapters in existence ballooned from three to more than 25 in a matter of months, including international chapters in Mexico and Canada.
The forward-thinking rebranding effort adequately positioned the M4M brand as a charity that volunteers, potential donors and corporate sponsors alike, would now see on the same level as other more established worthy causes. M4M founder Dr. Steven Isenberg noted, “Perna has done an incredible job with all of this. The value of the trademark and all that they have designed has elevated our organization’s image to a status I never imagined.”