Having a strong logo is a valuable brand asset which can set apart an organization’s visual identity while also articulating its goals. In 2021, we began to focus we commissioned a professional designer to help us articulate an official logo for Philadelphia Stoa, which we are now ready to unveil. We believe this logo captures the essence of the values of Stoicism while also paying homage to the symbolism and legacy of Philadelphia.
In evaluating common iconography of non-profits focused on Stoicism, we found a great diversity in how groups were representing themselves. After much discussion, we determined that a seal was the most appropriate bearer of Philadelphia Stoa’s mission because seals throughout history have been used by universities, philosophical organizations, fraternities, and non-profits as a way to connote their status as non-commercial entities focused on a particular mission.
Beginning on the outer rim of the seal, you will see the text “Philadelphia Stoa” in a beautiful slab-serif typeface which draws inspiration from classical inscriptions. On the bottom, the date “MMXVIII,” prominently marks 2018, the year of our founding. Flanking both sides of the outer rim are two laurels, which in antiquity represented achievement, knowledge, and excellence—key principles to which Philadelphia Stoics aspire.
Set prominently in the center of the seal is the facade of an ancient Greek stoa, styled in the Doric order. The base, or crepidoma, contains three steps representing the Three Branches of Stoicism – physics, logic, and ethics. Standing on those steps are four columns featuring a modest taper, or entasis, showing the four virtues of wisdom, justice, temperance, and courage. These columns support the entablature, symbolizing the singular and unending journey for excellence, or arête. Rising above the entablature is a pediment with three sides, each representing the Three Disciplines of desire, action, and assent.
As these elements converge into the image of a single stoa, they produce a halo which represents human flourishing, or eudaimonia, represented by a series of thirteen stars running running alongside the interior of the face, which pay homage to Philadelphia’s colonial origins and rich historical iconography. Set amongst the stars is the Stoic Sigma—a symbol which we have offered to the community as a symbol representing Stoicism itself.
We chose the colors blue, gold, and white because they have strong associations to the philosophical mission of Stoicism. Perhaps blue of all colors carries the strongest weight, with its traditional association to stability, respect, and tranquility. The darker shade of blue stands for these concepts while the lighter shade pays homage to a color one might find sailing the shores of the Aegean. For Stoics, gold symbolizes the pursuit of excellence and spiritual wealth which accompany the Stoic journey. Lastly, white is the color of purity and minimalism, concepts which Stoics have incorporated in to the philosophy through emphasis on reason and virtue.
We are excited to offer this new and exciting logo to the Stoics of Philadelphia and beyond.