How We Created the HEBFF Outdoor Logo


The original Laity Lodge logo was designed in 1978 by Richard L. Casey with oversight from Howard E. Butt, Jr., as the symbol of the Congress of the Laity. Over the past 35 years, the mark pulled extra duty, also serving as the logo for Laity Lodge as well as Foundations for Laity Renewal, and at times, other programs. I was charged with reworking the symbol in 2013 as the logo to be used exclusively by Laity Lodge.

In 2014, as FLR became The H. E. Butt Family Foundation, I redesigned the entire family of logos. The Foundation’s visual system and family of symbols ultimately would need to work well alongside one another. I decided to carry the four-leafed quatrefoil shape across the whole family to give each logo the same footprint, the same basic shape.




By the fall of 2015, Laity Lodge Family Camp—the last logo in the family to be designed—was completed, and we got to stand back and look at all of the logos in a line—a gratifying day.

This year, we’re doing some more work on the systemL we’re retiring The High Calling logo (rather, handing it off to Theology of Work, who is continuing The High Calling’s mission), and in its place sits the new logo for HEBFF Outdoor, the foundation’s newest freestanding program.

Over the winter, Communications took HEBFF Outdoor leaders Erik Silvius and Liz Hoyer through the same logo design process the other program leads had been through some 18 months prior. We asked a lot of questions, learned about their audiences’ needs, and wrote a creative brief that they ratified and we handed off to a design team.




After reviewing the brief as well as notes from our initial conversation, three designers (including one graphic designer who was a Laity Lodge Youth Camp alumna) began the task of creating hundreds—literally—of initial pencil thumbnail sketches. The sketchbook pages were reviewed and ranked.

Next, we worked to promote a handful of these original loose thumbnail concepts for deeper exploration. We went back to work refining and distilling the ideas into a docket of tighter pencil roughs, from which emerged a slate of finalists we presented to Liz and Eric, along with brief rationale. They evaluated the merit of the ideas, slept on it for a couple days, and chose two logo directions to move toward refinement, color breaks, and completion: a hiking boot / footprint concept, and the now-familiar growth rings / topo map mark.


Once the topo map / tree ring concept was chosen, the final task began—we needed to render the tree rings using line-weights consistent with the other logo while still preserving the simplicity of the design. A few versions were traced and later created on the computer.


Within a few days, HEBFF Outdoor and the Foundation leadership approved the final version of the HEBFF Outdoor logo, typography, and color breaks. The new logo was added to the familiar lockup, and HEBFF Outdoor started working with Communications on branded apparel.