As recipient of the 2015 Grant for Good, Plant Chicago—one of the city's raddest and baddest small nonprofits—got themselves a full year of brand identity and communication design services, free gratis.
The organization is housed inside The Plant, a hyper-innovative, hybrid vertical farm/start-up incubator in Chicago's Back of the Yards. Beyond public tours of the facility, Plant Chicago also operates several farms, a fresh market, community outreach and wild experiments in radical sustainability in and around the building. As a young organization with such close ties to The Plant, they needed a distinctive identity of their own and the tools to tell their story.
Brand & Identity System
Wanting to avoid green industry clichés, we opted for a more abstract approach to the logomark. A simple circle encompassing precisely wound coils nod to the organization’s mad scientist vibe and focus on circular economies.
With a versatile suite of custom illustrations and icons, as well as a lively palette, the identity system is rich and energetic, just like Plant Chicago’s approach to urban renewal.
In addition to creating an in-depth brand style guide and overarching communication strategy, we revised their tour script to help clarify the uniquely symbiotic relationship between the organization and the space.
Finally, we designed and developed the new Plant Chicago website, the crown jewel of the brand system. After researching analytics from their old site, we reorganized, refined and rewrote every piece of content, with a renewed focus on storytelling and easy calls to action. The site’s chock full of interactivity, from changing color schemes and duotone image treatments to navigation toggling and fresh animations. It was every bit as fun to build as it is to explore.