Crafting a New Logo
Before beginning the web development work, we started with the rebranding process in order to establish a look and feel that could be carried across the entire identity.
The new logo above was the end result of a long process that started with an effort to rework the original SCWRP seal.
Each iteration of the redesign moved the seal in a more bold and contemporary direction. We also began to focus in on the Least Tern, a bird commonly found in California coastal wetlands, as the primary imagery for the mark.
The client was thrilled when we presented the refined Least Tern illustration. Yet the process of revising the original seal had revealed a deeper challenge the redesign project would need to tackle.
In an era where conservation and restoration work is moving from species-specific projects towards more holistic projects that address entire ecosystems, it didn’t make sense to reduce the SCWRP logo down to one specific animal. The client realized they wanted something completely new that could represent wetlands as a whole.
So we went back to the drawing board.
We started sketching out various rough ideas for an entirely new SCWRP logo. Themes of running water, natural cycles, droplets, wetland plants and interconnectivity were reoccurring.
The concept for the new SCWRP logo emerged at the point where two iconic representations of southern California wetlands intersect.
On the right of the diagram below we have pickleweed, an important native plant in California wetlands ecosystems that many SCWRP projects are working to restore and reintroduce. To its left we have a diagram of a watershed showing sinuous upland tributaries converging one by one until forming a larger waterway that eventually passes through the tidal wetlands and out into the open ocean. The new SCWRP logo is a fusion of these two elements. Encompassing the micro perspective of a specific endemic plant all the way out to a macro perspective of an entire watershed, the new SCWRP logo is designed to be an iconic representation of a complete California wetlands ecosystem.
We crafted a visually consistent secondary mark to give the brand maximum flexibility in its potential applications.
With the logo design process complete and the client happy, we were now ready to begin strategizing the best ways to flesh out SCWRP’s online presence and build a robust website.
A Dynamic New Website
After conducting thorough research into the operation, history and trajectory of the Wetlands Recovery Project, we decided it made sense to center the new website around the dozens of projects funded and coordinated by the partnership. There was a wealth of information about each site-specific project in the five coastal counties of Southern California but it was largely hidden or inaccessible on the previous site. We designed the architecture of the new site to put these projects front and center so as to illustrate and promote SCWRP’s important restoration work.
Our studio built a dynamic project map that is easy to update and serves as a portal to learn more about each individual project and we highlighted a set of featured projects that can be curated by SCWRP staff at the top of the homepage. The overall look and feel of the site followed in the footsteps of the guidelines established during the logo development process.
In order to easily explore the many places SCWRP is currently helping to coordinate and fund wetlands restoration work, we designed this highly searchable project board. Each project is represented by a thumbnail and basic description and a user can easily sort through the board based on type of project, funding level, location and status.
After clicking on a specific project on the project map or project board, a user is taken to this individual project page that we designed to be visually appealing as well as highly functional and useful. All of the specific details of the project are readily accessible at the top of the page including it’s location on a dynamic map. Below that, additional descriptions, photos and updates can be posted and curated by those who are working at that physical site.
We rounded out the site with attractive informational pages, a forum for sharing ideas, an online application system and a latest news blog.
As with all of the websites Front Group builds, we made sure that the new SCWRP site was complete mobile responsive and would look as good on a smart phone as it does on a desk top monitor.