CIEE / the Slovak-American Foundation Brand Design

It's extremely rare to show a client a first round of identity concepts and have them immediately choose one without changes, but that's exactly what happened when we presented logo sketches for the Slovak-American Foundation to CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange).  SAF exists to fund and manage internship and scholarship programs that bring young Slovakians to the U.S. to work and study.  The brand needed to appeal to a young, tech-savvy audience, and to clearly communicate the Foundation's role as a cultural bridge between Slovakia and the United States. As a merging of elements from the two countries' flags, the logo literally illustrates this concept.


After finalizing the SAF identity, we began work on a website design ( to be built in-house by CIEE staff, and tri-fold print brochures for the Research Scholar Program and Internship Program.  We took into account and designed every aspect of the site, from call-to-action buttons and graphical banners with flexible-messaging areas, to custom form design.  All of these design elements also transition to the print brochures, even to consistent use and styling of stock photos. One of the most time-consuming aspecst of this project was scouring an array of stock photography sites in search of models who would look and feel Slovakian.  It's not until you're searching for light-skinned, dark-haired, light-eyed, young, natural-looking models that you realize that there are a hugely disproportionate number of beautiful blondes in stock imagery!

One of our favorite things is seeing a brand come together from top to bottom in a variety of media.  The SAF design is clean, simple, professional-looking and most important of all, cohesively executed through identity, print and web design.