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The woman behind the logo

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From the build site to the board room, volunteers are the beating heart of everything we do at Habitat. Every day we are grateful for those who lend their time, talent and many gifts to our mission. One of those incredible volunteers, Jana Sasaki, is the creative genius behind our recently unveiled Wahine Build logo.

Jana Sasaki, Wahine Build logo designer

Jana was first connected to Habitat through her colleagues at Nordic PCL Construction where she works as a marketing coordinator. After learning of Wahine Build, she jumped at the opportunity to lend her design insight and flex her creative muscles in support of her community.

Since September, she has volunteered more than 50 hours working with Habitat staff and developing the logo and brand identity of Wahine Build.

Inspiration and Concept

The Wahine Build logo was designed with the concepts of construction, women-empowerment and Hawaiian culture in mind. Jana spent countless hours curating each element to contribute to the story of Wahine Build and the message we intend to share with the community.

Plumeria: As an established icon in Hawaiian culture and subtle indicator of femininity, the plumeria flower serves as the focal point of the design. While the plumeria itself is viewed in many cultures as a symbol of longevity, the flower’s overlapping petals also create a sense of cooperation, unity and forward movement.

Shelter: By helping families achieve home ownership, Habitat promotes the significance of shelter as a foundation for opportunity and success. This foundational belief is represented in the design through the rooftop formed from the plumeria. The open door signifies accessibility and understanding.

Empowerment: One of Wahine Build’s key goals is to empower women in the local community to develop confidence and skills in construction. The triangular form in the rooftop points upward, indicating aspirations and progress.

Momentum: Through volunteerism and community outreach, Habitat and Wahine Build generate a “wave” of positive change that influences the larger community. Visually, the thick and thin contrasts in the lines of the logo and typography convey this sense of motion and momentum while also creating a local Hawaiian feel

The creative process

Starting with a blank canvas is both exciting and overwhelming! Especially for those of us who aren’t designers by trade. Jana provided invaluable leadership and guidance from start-to-finish.

“Having a foundational understanding of what and how you are trying to communicate will inform design choices later down the line,” Jana said, “I spent a lot of time understanding Habitat’s existing brand and exploring ways to express the concepts of construction, womanhood and Hawaiian culture.”

“Having a foundational understanding of what and how you are trying to communicate will inform design choices later down the line.”

– Jana Sasaki

After discussion with the Habitat team and conducting her initial research, Jana presented several early concepts to the Wahine Build committee. From these early versions, we narrowed our focus to three concepts. In October, the committee voted on the final design. Jana spent the next 6 weeks refining and fine-tuning all creative elements of the brand, including typography and digital assets.

Early sketch of what would become our final Wahine Build logo

Through the process of ideation, design, revision and finalization, the mission of Wahine Build became clearer and more unified. Asking questions like, “What is our desired impact?” and “How do we want to represent our mission?” shaped the overall concept of Wahine Build.

Jana Sasaki is as humble as she is talented. When asked, she will tell you that the final brand identity is the result of collective efforts and hopes for Wahine Build.

What is Jana’s hope for Wahine Build? That this new brand identity will help tell a story, promote empowerment of local women and support those in need of homes.”

About the artist, Jana Sasaki

Born and raised on Oahu, Jana Sasaki is a local graphic designer who first became interested in the visual arts through her Japanese heritage and the influence of East Asian culture.

After earning her bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, she joined the Nordic PCL Construction team where she currently works as a marketing coordinator. She has recently become more invested in learning about digital illustration and spends her spare time enjoying other artistic hobbies like sewing and origami.

As a graphic design and marketing professional, Jana strives to leverage the visual arts to foster communication and interpersonal connections. She draws creative inspiration from fun, quirky and innovative packaging designs.

Some of her notable works include projects with the Library and Information Science Program at UH Manoa, Creative Mornings: Honolulu, and the Tokyo Midtown Koinobori Festival.

Early sketch concepts of the Wahine Build logo

With Jana’s permission, we thought it would be fun to share some of the very early concepts for our logo!


For more information about Wahine Build visit
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