An organisation is much more than its logo. However ours has an interesting story.
When Itad was first set up by Derek Poate and Mike Felton in 1984, they had both been working in Nigeria in evaluation units of World Bank funded agricultural development projects. Returning to the UK, they saw the opportunity for a business specialising in the monitoring and evaluation of the large agriculture and rural development projects of the era. Our original logo was designed to reflect these origins by showing agriculture combined with economics – our core areas at that time. Luckily, we were quite busy with M&E work on irrigation schemes and that prompted some thinking. Playing around with shapes, our designers hit on some wavy lines that looked vaguely like rice terraces. A bit more work and we observed the familiar shape of an economic production function. Somehow, the two blended together and with the addition of the clear space that looked like a footpath into the distance to break up the formal lines of the shape, gave us an image that could be viewed as an abstract shape, an economic graph or irrigation terraces. Finally, the green gave us an appropriately rural colour.
Like the organisation, our logo has evolved. Our work now goes beyond economics and agriculture into the much broader arena of M&E in international development. Or to consider it in a different way, of using information to inform development. It seemed right that our logo should reflect this – and it does. Our dynamic logo continually changes shape based on the data it receives. This data includes project type, location and specialism. The result is a logo that’s different from one day to the next based on where in the world we are and what we are doing. And it’s also a reminder of the importance of accurate, measurable information to our work and the ever changing nature of what we do.
We are always asked “what does ITAD stand for?” This is of course a question with two layers – What does the acronym stand for? And what does ITAD as an organisation stand for? ITAD as an acronym comes from the company’s origins in an era when computers had started to become portable. Thus ITAD was initially: Information Technology and Agricultural Development. Over time the scope of ITAD’s work spread beyond agriculture and portable computing became less of a differentiator. ITAD therefore revised the underlying meaning of its acronym, to become: Information, Training And Development. In considering in 2013 how we wanted the name ‘ITAD’ to be understood, we had workshops to brainstorm what the letters best stand for in the current and future ITAD. We played with words like impact, transformation, action, etc. But it all felt like buzzword bingo. Itad is therefore now our name; it is a word, not an acronym. Our values are what the organisation stands for; they are very important to us and we try to live by them. We do not try to shoehorn what we do into just four words that fit the letters in our name. What we do is presented on the rest of this website.