May 26, 2022: We are so excited and proud to introduce the new Sapan logo.
Here’s how it happened.
A few days after we launched South Asia Peace Action Network following an online discussion between peace activists, volunteer Vishal Sharma in Shimla created a new profile picture for an existing Facebook page.
He was then a law student, with no design background.
We had created the page, originally called South Asian Union, in June 2012, based on the idea of a visa-free Southasia. It was not very active. With the birth of Sapan in March 2022, we changed the page name to South Asia Peace Action Network.
Vishal created Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles for Sapan – @southasiapeace on all platforms. The new Facebook profile picture became the image for these as well.
It also became the logo for the Sapan website designed by another volunteer, Aekta Kapoor of eShe magazine, New Delhi.
Fast forward to January 2022, we decided to start using Southasia as one word, adopting a concept introduced by Himal Southasian. Editor Kanak Mani Dixit is a Sapan founder member.
Volunteer Sarita Bartaula from Nepal, now based in the DC area, floated the idea of a new logo for Sapan and took the initiative of taking it forward. Backed by the team, she designed and ran a logo competition.
We received 22 entries from 13 participants. Sarita posted the submissions to Sapan’s Facebook and Instagram accounts as anonymous entries. We asked followers to vote on them. Some ‘liked’ them all.
We also invited four qualified individuals to judge the competition. They included Sapan founder members artist Salima Hashmi in Lahore and activist Khushi Kabir in Dhaka. Visual artist Samita Chatterjee in Bangalore and designer Emily Singer in New York who teaches graphic design at Parsons and Stern College for Women also agreed to judge the entries. Sarita sent them numbered anonymous entries and a rubric for ‘grading’.
Adamant that the winner must get a cash prize, Sarita donated $50 for it. Two other Sapaners, Dr Fauzia Deeba from Quetta, now in New Jersey, and Dr Amit Shah from Ahmedabad, now in North Carolina, contributed equally.
Based on the judges’ scores and the social media voting, Bansi Lal Ketki from Odisha, India, secured the second runner-up position. Jaakko Tikkanen from Finland was the runner up. The winner is Abdul Hamid from Lahore, in Vancouver, Canada.
Many thanks to him for patiently making tweaks to the winning logo until we felt it was just right.
Hamid says that when he conceived and designed the logo, his idea was to reflect the Southasian region, peace, and free will of the people.
“The dove going in an upward direction represents peace, and ‘Sapan’ in freehand lettering symbolises free will of the people,” he says.
Since sending money to Canada would have involved a hefty wire transfer fee, we turned to Sapaner Swati Sharan who divides her time between the USA and Canada. We sent her the money via PayPal, and she transferred the equivalent in Canadian currency to Hamid in Vancouver. A neat Southasian ‘jugaR’ (quick-fix) 🙂
Thank you everyone who made this possible.
With love, solidarity and gratitude