Today I am honored to be bringing you the story of Austin Oney & The Big O Foundation. Brooke reached out to me in need of a refresh for their foundation’s brand. She felt like the brand they had was just not exactly what they were looking for and didn’t quite tell their story or Austin’s in the way they were wanting to. We set up a time to chat & when I heard their story, I knew this project was going to leave a huge impact on my heart.
The Big O Foundation is a non profit created in honor of Austin Oney, who passed away from suicide in 2018. Brooke, Austin’s girlfriend, his mother Latischia, his sister Ally & their family and friends created The Big O Foundation to help bring awareness to mental health, suicide/suicide prevention and CTE (brain injury). In their time of grief & sorrow, they found comfort in helping others learn more about mental health, CTE, and therapy. Austin impacted so many people during his life and continues to do so everyday. The Big O Foundation hopes to continue to honor his legacy by providing support & help to others in the community & across the world.
Their foundation is driven to make a positive impact and help end the stigma with mental illness and suicide, as well as spread awareness about CTE. After Austin passed away in 2018, the Big O Foundation started giving scholarships in honor of his memory. Though they are a smaller organization, they strive to be like Austin who, “loved big and was always go big or go home“. They have big dreams and hopes for this foundation and to help others as their foundation continues to grow! You can read more about their cause & everything they do on their website here!
When I met Brooke & heard Austin’s story, I knew this foundation & brand was something I wanted to work with and extend my full support to. I have lost family & friends to suicide, and I’m no stranger to mental health awareness. If you’ve followed my business for awhile now, you know that I’ve shared my own stories & experiences around mental health, but you also know how important this topic is to me and how I’m always a “listening ear” or friend to anyone who needs it. After losing my own loved ones to suicide, I’ve become an advocate for mental health & ending the stigma around it.
When I created the brand design, I wanted to create something full of depth, meaning, and something that truly represented not just their foundation, but who Austin was. Brooke talked a lot about how, Austin, “loved big and was always go big or go home” and I wanted their brand to encompass that. The Big O symbol was designed with this idea in mind. I wanted the O to not just be the letter itself, but to represent more than that. I came up with the concept of two interlocking arms surrounding a heart symbol to represent everything the foundation stands for:
The colors of their branding are also extremely significant because the teal & purple, represent suicide awareness and the lime green represents CTE awareness & mental health. I wanted to ensure that every aspect of this brand was impactful & drove home what The Big O Foundation stands for & who they serve. I also wanted to create something that truly represented the person Austin was, with his big heart & kind soul, and also represent the foundation that honors his memory today. This foundation has so many incredible people behind it and so much heart & thought put into it and I knew that their branding needed to be just as strong and significant.
Brooke and I have become closer through this project & being able to bring Austin’s family & her vision to life for this project has been nothing short of a blessing. Hearing their stories, their bravery, and everything they’ve experienced while still continuing to help others has been absolutely incredible. I’ve truly learned about the resilience and strength of others even during the darkest of times. I’ve been so honored to have had the opportunity to design such a powerful & impactful brand, full of heart and meaning, that represents them & their foundation. I truly cannot wait to see what this incredible foundation will continue to do to support mental health & CTE awareness across the world! If you want to support them or get involved, please go check out their website & be on the lookout for future events!!
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