The Caritas Project

February, 2017
Community Engagement, Placemaking, Branding

Caritas Pesaro is a branch of the Caritas Italiana, a Catholic charity organism spread worldwide and present within 220 centres in Italy. The association is the “operative arm” of the bishop’s congress, and is organized throughout the territory through “Signs” or “Operas”. I had the opportunity to collaborate with them on the reorganization of their Managing Centre and the redesign of their local brand.

The approach of Caritas starts from the relationship. Their first principle and aim is defined as “pedagogical”: this “path together” is metaphorically conducted by both the volunteers of Caritas and the people in need. Everything starts with a relationship, a conversation and a trajectory.

This process of help and mutual learning touches different institutions throughout the region, supplying a variety of services and goods. This complex landscape is visualised in my knowledge map, where Caritas’ stakeholders and assets are intertwined, and future possibilities emerge from these connections.

Nonetheless, the amount of time that this approach requires is compromising the operations of the Managing Center.

This is the first point of contact with the association, where the person in need is listened and directed to different services. In this space cohabit homeless people, mothers and their children, young and old volunteers, resulting in a clashing, confused and most importantly unsafe and unwelcoming environment.

1. The function of the hall is now converted into a waiting area, where visitors can sit on two benches outside the actual Managing Center. This allows the inside room to be less crowded and more safe.

2. A new volunteer figure will be positioned at a desk right next to the door. Here the visitor will be asked for his Caritas ID to be pinned on his jacket, and about the reasons of his visit. After a while volunteers may have had numerous occasions to get to know the visitors and could have a little chat about their situation. Finally the visitor will be given the ticket with the queue number and will let the visitor into the room.
3. The visitor can either sit at the table, where he can have a look on announcements, job opportunities or Caritas events, or on the chairs on a side. The waiting room is equipped with a children’s table. Another volunteer figure will be in the room chatting at the table, playing with kids, contributing to a more relaxed and familiar atmosphere.

4. When their number is called, the visitor approaches
the desk and is walked into the correct office by the receptionist.

5. The visitor is finally inside the office, after having interacted with three different volunteers and maybe more other visitors in a quieter and more controlled environment.

The visual identity takes the form and the function of a simplified map, that you can use to visually and physically orient yourself through the 5 Caritas centers. This could ease the user movements within the services offered by the association, moving from place to place in the simplified map. It is also targeted to the larger public of Pesaro, which could start both identifying the organization through the new image and it could also contribute to raise the awareness of how many centers and which are the location Caritas works within.

The logo design concept is a simple red cross with red dots around it. The red cross remembers the Caritas logo and the church imaginary, but stands also for the road intersection at the center of all the Caritas centers, the new “Caritas District”.

The dots are placed corresponding the sites of all these help points, connecting the logo to the specific setting of Caritas in Pesaro city center in a map-style representation, with the organization and the cross at the center. The logo is therefore referencing both the national association and the local reality. Every single service, like the clothing emporium and the managing service will be characterized by its own logo, derived from the major one by erasing all the dots not connected to the specific service.


copyright Lorenzo Lattanzi, 2018