A few weeks ago, we transitioned to a brand new logo for Ex-Muslims of North America…here’s why.
Our very first logo began as a scribble on a piece of scrap-paper in a pit-stop D.C. restaurant, when Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA) was only in its infancy. A board member had the idea of mirroring and superimposing two crescent moons (the symbol of Islam) to resemble an X representing ex-Muslims. He shared his idea with the rest of the team – and we all loved it.
Today, the crescent X has been widely adopted, ex-Muslim organizations and groups across the world have incorporated this into their designs and logos.
Still, we decided an update was in order. The significance of a logo is in its symbolism, and on that front, the crescent X was problematic for two reasons:
First, it became clear that recognizing the design and intent requires more knowledge of Islamic iconography than the average layperson or non-Muslim has. In the same way an inside-joke doesn’t work in stand-up comedy, this logo wasn’t resonating on the larger stage. Ex-Muslims of North America isn’t just about providing support to ex-Muslims – we’re here to educate the broader public, which means using symbolism that can be understood by everyone.
Secondly, even when the logo was properly understood, it did not paint a complete picture of who we are. The crescent X represented defiance – which is a spirit ex-Muslims all over the world embody. But we don’t just represent a rejection of the faith – we are the champions of reason and enlightenment values. Just like with any major civil movement, defiance is necessary, but our ultimate message is one of hope, of coming out of the darkness cast by religion, and bringing the clarity of reason to the world.
We decided that the best way to illustrate this message of hope (while keeping an element of Islamic symbolism) would be to use an eclipse.
If Islam is represented by the moon, we are the sun, bursting out from where it was once concealed.
Religion has kept humanity in its shadow, but we know that if we continue, this will soon pass.
On our main platforms the logo and theme have already changed. With time these changes will make it to the other materials and projects.