Digitalized Logo Concept. March 2021.
Official NMSJEI Logo. March 2021.
NMSJEI Logo Concept. Graphite on 80 lb. Drawing Paper. March 2021
The New Mexico Social Justice & Equity Institute’s (NMSJEI) PR & Marketing Revitalization project began in March 2021 and was set to create a modern online presence while acknowledging indigenous ancestral roots. One major component of this project was creating a new NMSJEI logo which paid tribute to our ancestors, culture, and began to pave the way for future advocates.
The NMSJEI logo concept was initially hand-drawn using graphite and 80 lb. drawing paper. It was then photographed and digitized using Adobe Fresco and Photoshop by Joshua Whitman, March 2021.
The new logo represents sacred traditions and teachings that many indigenous peoples forgot over the decades due to colonization, religious conversion, boarding schools, and other atrocities. We shall discuss in depth the symbology and iconography of the colors and shapes contained within the new logo.
Let’s begin with the shape of the logo. This represents the circle of life. There is no beginning and no end to the circle. In Navajo culture, the circle is continuous with birth/infancy, youth/adolescence, adulthood, and elder/death. It is believed that although the body dies the spirit remains and continues into their next journey.
Next is the white border which emcompasses the overall design. White is the beginning representing birth and life, social consciousness and vision, is Spring and white corn pollen. Many indigenous creation stories involve White Shell Woman (Yoolgai asdzáá) and is the ancestor of the creator god. Keeper of ceremonies and blessingsway. The color also represents the Female in many cultures around the world.
Traversing inwards the jewelry in-lay design represents the universe. Black is universal conscious and represents the Male. Turquoise is planning, adolescence, and summer. Red is the people. This band represents the people of the land and their connections to the universe and the land. Blue represents the sky/heavens and the people’s relationship to water. Water is life and is the most important aspect in everyday life. Yellow is implementation, adulthood, growth, yellow corn pollen. It is also the cultural story of the Sun and the Twins. Brown is the land. The land is sacred to indigenous people and is used to create food and life.
Diamonds in Diné before colonization and boarding school education represent the stars of the night sky. It is a physical representation of the galaxy that can be found in the night sky.
The Fist is both Male & Female, Masculine & Feminine, Power, Unity, Knuckles of the fist represents the Four Sacred Mountains. It is empowerment, fighting authority, and is a reminder of many other organizations that fight for equality such as the Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement (AIM), Black Lives Matter (BLM), etc. The symbology of the fist is spiritual and is ethnic interpretation. One must stand up for oneself, it is fighting for survival, and humanity. It is fighting our modern monsters such as alcoholism, domestic violence, COVID/sickness, poverty, hunger, strife, the church, etc.