South Asian Alliance for Budget Accountability or SAABA is an initiative by the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA), New Delhi (India), supported by Oxfam Novib. It seeks to create a South Asian alliance of civil society organisations in the region, engaged with budget analysis and advocacy for strengthening governance accountability.

A logo design was commissioned at SAABA’s initiation. While several logo options were presented basis the creative brief received, the logo that was finally approved was based on the simple idea of bar graphs representing budget. Four pairs of bar graphs, each in 1:2 proportion, were symmetrically arranged in a tight group or graphic suggesting alliance. Placement of the graphic at a 45 degree angle brought a sense of movement or dynamism to the logo and together, the tight group of bar graphs also seemed to form two intermingling ‘S’ (for SAABA) shapes. Each of the four pairs of graphs was given a different colour, the overall colour palette chosen was ‘ethnic’ and sober, considering the region and seriousness of the initiative. Use of four different colours in the logo graphic symbolised richness of information and ideas that partner countries or stakeholders would share through SAABA, equal size of each set of graphs represented equal or democratic participation by all members.

The famous font Helvetica was used to write SAABA because of its neutral, uniform, strong and stable appearance. The logo was devoid of a strong ‘style’ because a dignified, non-flamboyant and serious look was important in this case.

Overall, SAABA logo unit looked robust, stable and energetic, perhaps fit enough to represent an alliance! A greyscale version of the logo was also created for reproduction in black-and-white or for low-cost, one or two colour print jobs.