Behind the logo

Behind the logo, taking a look at branding!

The Ambulance Wish Western Australia branding is inspired by the international Ambulance Wish Foundation branding, which features the emergency medical services star of life and the palliative care butterfly.1

The ‘Star of Life’ has become synonymous with emergency medical care around the world. Created by the American National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, each bar of the star represents one of the emergency medical services functions: detection; reporting; response; on-scene care; care in transit and transfer to definitive care. The serpent and staff in the centre of the star portray the staff of Asclepius, an ancient Greek physician defined as the god of medicine. The staff represents medicine and healing, while the skin-shedding serpent is indicative of renewal.2

Butterflies are known as a symbol of transformation, hope, life, and spirit. They signify the fleetingness of life and are commonly used to represent palliative care. In some cultures the butterfly represents spiritual rebirth, transformation, endless potential, vibrant joy, change, ascension, and an ability to experience the wonder of life. The metamorphosis of butterflies is symbolically associated with radical changes in human lives, with death perceived as a possibility for renewal. Therefore, the breaking of the cocoon is the death of the body, when the soul achieves freedom in the image of the butterfly. Thus, palliative care, in its theoretical philosophy and applied practice, assists and eases this process of change in the lives of patients and their families, without denying the death, pain nor suffering experienced. 3

Ambulance Wish Western Australia has kept the teal colour from the international branding of the Ambulance Wish Foundation, but combined it with the official Western Australian state colours of black and gold. Teal is a blend of blue’s tranquil stability and green’s optimism and healing properties, creating a colour which represents restfulness and mental and spiritual balance. The state colours of back and gold were chosen because the volunteer management committee wanted to firmly establish Ambulance Wish Western Australia as a Western Australian charity. 4, 5

  1. Stichting Ambulance Wens.
  2. National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration
  3. Costa Mariana Fernandes, Soares Jorge Coelho. Free as a butterfly: symbology and palliative care. Rev. bras. geriatr. gerontol.  [Internet]. 2015  Sep [cited  2019  Nov  29];  18( 3 ): 631-641.
  4. Western Australia: Now and then. State emblems
  5. Color psychology: The psychology of colors and their meanings.

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