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    Entries in human centered design (16)


    Hello New Logo!



    When we started back in 2004, we were just selling pumps. Yetagon is the Myanmar word for waterfall, and it has strong connotations of prosperity. As our products are designed to make our customers more prosperous, and pumps pump water, we called the brand Yetagon, and we gave it a logo that looked industrial, strong, and kind of like a waterfall.

    Then, as the years went by, we added more and more services - farm advisory services, solar lights and product financing - but the logo really only made it's way on to products, and the name stuck there too. That was no good. Our new services weren't benefiting from the trusted brand associated with our products, and our different teams were seen to be operating as separate entities. We wanted a way of unifying everything under the Yetagon name, while still maintaining each team's individuality.

    So, we turned to our friends at Tomorrow Partners advertising agency and asked them to help us come up with a strategy. We showed different versions of the design ideas to real customers for feedback and we eventually made a choice. The final version is shown above. It still looks industrial. It's still quite strong. It's still kind of like a waterfall, if you're artistically inclined. There's a green logo for our irrigation products (as crops are mostly green. If you irrigate them right), there's a red one for rural energy (as the sun's red. it is. don't look, you'll blind yourself), there's a purple one for product financing (as purple is typically associated with wealth and opulence), and a gold one for farm advisory services (like the color of a healthy, well-ripened rice field). They make sense. And they look cool too.

    We revealed the logo change at our season launch meeting and, although no one fell off their chair in exhilaration, there was an excited whisper in the hall and one of the demos from the Ayeyarwady region said "I can't wait for this year’s t-shirts”. We’ll take it.


    The Schwab Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurship 2012

    On September 10th, at the World Economic Forum in Beijing, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship announced Proximity Designs as an awardee of their prestigious Award for Social Entrepreneurship 2012!

    Selected out of over 1,000 applicants as one of twenty-six awardees, we are the first ever organization from Myanmar to be invited to join their community of 225 social enterprises, representing 70 countries around the world.

    Jim Taylor and Debbie Aung Din, Proximity's co-founders, travelled to Tianjin to collect the award at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions on Tuesday 11th, and we'll hopefully have some photos soon.

    Hilde Schwab, the Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, who will present the award, said of the awardees

     “The 2012 awardees are successfully mobilizing a range of actors, including governments and corporations, to effectively address urgent social and environmental challenges. It is a testament to their impact – and to the efforts of thousands of other social entrepreneurs – that social innovation is becoming a priority for decision-makers at the most senior levels.”

    We’re incredibly proud to have been selected, and the announcement couldn't have come at a better time, as we launch in to our ninth season and the sales of our most innovative products yet.

    We hope you will join us in celebrating this award, and raising a glass to another successful year of helping rural families here in Myanmar! 


    Here's to Season 9!

    As promised, on Friday we launched our ninth season!

    Here's a shot of some of our sales staff getting prepped for a group photo, a couple minutes after we officially launched to the bangs of 150 party poppers.

    In the next few days we'll share with you the designs and stories behind our new pressure pump (the Baby Buffalo), our new water tank (the Pyit Taing Taung - or Roly-Poly Toy Tank), and our improved drip irrigation system, as well as reveal the new marketing campaign we've developed for this year. Innovation is the key to success in a market as tough as our one and our design teams have out done themselves this year. Stay tuned to find out more. 



    1000 Words: Products that transform and delight

    In 3 days we'll launch Season 9, our 9th year of serving rural families with products and services that increase incomes and productivity. Currently all of our field staff are in Yangon learning all about the new products we're offering this year, and next week they'll head back to their areas to start selling. 


    44 days to launch: What's in a name?

    Put it in your dairies: On September 8th, Proximity will launch our 9th season by revealing two brand spanking new products.

    We can't say too much but we can say that a whole lot of work has gone in to them, and we're pretty sure they'll be our best products yet. However, before we launch them on the market to find out, there's a few things we need to finish first. One of the more colourful tasks being finding the new products new names that will capture the imaginations of our rural customers.

    Product naming is an art form, and a lot of fun. We spent a few minutes one morning brainstorming options and then took the most popular ones out to the field to get a farmers perspective. You can see some of the candidates in the photo but we won't be revealing the winner until September 8th.

    Stay tuned.