top of page

Humane Rescue Alliance


Washington Humane Society (founded in 1870) and Washington Animal Rescue League (founded in 1914) officially merged and revealed its new name in 2016 – Humane Rescue Alliance. This historical merger of the two organizations created the first end-to-end animal care organization in a major U.S. city. Our team was tasked to create the new brand platform and visual identity. 

Former WHS and WARL Logos

Starting With Insights

Creating a brand identity doesn't start with just designing a logo. It begins with careful information gathering and research to develop a brand that has real impact. The key to this step is to understand the combined organization's mission and offering in context to pet owner's perceptions and reality of the environment. 

Then we distill the information gained from discovery into insights that will help us define the new brand platform – how the organization positions itself in the marketplace and builds relevance.

Then we start sketching.

Early Iterations

Humane Rescue Alliance wanted to acknowledge its DC roots but also appeal nationally. We also had to avoid the expected cat and dog iconography. Humane Rescue Alliance advocates on the welfare of all animals, not just cats and dogs, but also wild animals. Another communication priority is the human and animal connection – seeing it as a continuum rather than a simple love/hate relationship. How could a logo communicate all that? While trying to be distinctive, we had to carefully choose priorities that define Humane Rescue Alliance, not limit us.

The Winner

After several meetings with Humane Rescue Alliance, we concluded early iterations didn't feel exactly aligned with their purpose. After listening to the leadership about the direction of the organization, we revisited the sketches and concentrated on the face concept. A winner emerged. 

Final Logomark

At first glance, the logomark resembles an animal face. However, this logomark contains various imagery – the Capitol Rotunda as the nose, people to make up the animal face that, collectively, represents the brand values of Humane Rescue Alliance and its perpetual national influence. 

"Congrats to the Washington Humane Society for its new branding. Wonderful name, absolutely brilliant logo. Couldn't love it more."

Tracy Krulik 

Writer and dog training and behavior student @TracyKrulik

Brand Relaunch Event

After 145 years of operating under two different names, the new name and logo was revealed at a press event.

@WHS_Scott @Wash_humane @WARLDC YAY!! Love it. #HumaneRescuealliance 🐶🐱❤️

Lauren DeMarco FOX 5 



After the new name and logo was announced, Humane Rescue Alliance launched its rebranded website and social channels. Note: We did not work on the digital portion of this assignment. What is featured here is how the visual identity was incorporated. 

Nationals Star Max Scherzer Advocacy Campaign

The logo provided flexibility to be altered for Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer for his advocacy and limited edition merchandise. Scherzer and his wife, Erica, own 6 rescue dogs. The logo features two different color eyes. Like Glee in the video below, Max also has heterochromia iridum.

Social Media

The logomark provided brand consistency in social media content.

© 2024 J.D. Humphreys

  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
bottom of page