Rebranding Benevolence in South Africa
In the spring of 2016, A Spring of Hope reintroduced itself to the world with a brand icon
that clearly communicated their holistic approach to sustainable development of rural schools.
This is my story of rebranding a non-profit that completely embodies the definition of benevolence.
The information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of A Spring of Hope.
About A Spring of Hope
A Spring of Hope (ASoH) is a non-profit organization that provides schools in South Africa with sustainable water sources for drinking, sanitation, irrigation, and food preparation to improve health conditions, combat poverty, promote education and create self‐sustainability within each of its partner schools.
Through partnerships, A Spring of Hope strives for the long-term success of each school through increased school attendance, graduation rates, and community involvement.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
The Irony of Success
In the spring of 2015 I was selected to assist in conceptualizing merchandising opportunities for ASoH.
ROLE: Art Direction, Concept development, Illustration / Lettering
Working directly with co-founder Joanne Young, we discussed the current merchandising in the ASoH online shop, previous items and the events associated with their genesis. Up to this point merchandising efforts by ASoH echoed the general SWAG items (T-shirts, water bottles, etc.) offered by similar brands within their non-profit industry. The items proved successful for event marketing or fundraising efforts, but neither assisted in telling the unique approach of ASoH nor their brand story.
In that conversation I gathered the necessary information to begin developing a concept book for stakeholders at ASoH to review. The concept book was received with enthusiasm. So much so, mother and daughter co-founders decided that ASoH needed a new logo before considering any new merchandising options. Merchandising efforts were put on hold, and I was invited to develop a new brand mark.
Suggested concepts aimed to embrace the craftsmanship of South African artisans. The "hands-on practice" of both ASoH and the artisans was the common thread in the story of each merchandise item uniting a community of craftsman, companies and consumers to participate in supporting ASoH at a local level but on a global scale.
Rebranding A Spring of Hope
ROLE: Concept Development, Logo Design, Production
Internal discussions specifically addressing the idea of rebranding had been casually occurring for sometime. The consensus of many was an emotional attachment to the water drop and backward “f” of the original logotype. Yet undeniable to all was that the original logo no longer reflected the scope of the brand efforts.
Reimagining a Beloved Logo
With so much brand equity built into the single portion of the logotype, in my mind it was vital that the next evolution of the brand mark retain some essence of its predecessor. Having familiarized myself with the history of ASoH, their mission, target audience, industry competitors, and future brand goals, some of my research had been completed with the development of the merchandising book. Ultimately my aim was to design a brand mark that accurately reflected the scope of current efforts, embraced the future aspirations of the ASoH brand and combined the concept of hope.
Update and clarify the ASoH brand with a new logo integrating the ideas: Water, Children, Gardens and South Africa without feeling overtly African.
Go To the Source
Returning as directed, to the information and content presented on the existing website: aspringofhope.org as the primary resource to begin the process of clarifying the current brand, I began to isolate what made the existing logotype so successful up this point and where it was starting to fail in communicating who, what and how ASoH does what they do.
Engineered communal epicenters, sharing knowledge, increasing community health and economic well being which has resulted in tighter knit communities.
Began with drilling boreholes
Now actively assist with addressing other basic needs: permaculture and sanitation on a much larger scale.
Blend the qualities: hopeful, educational, communal, accessible, and progressive into the brand mark.
Update brand mark of ASoH to accurately reflect the efforts and scope of effect on local communities / schools.
Put Your Thinking Caps On
Surveying the direct competition of Upcycle Products, mindful of the goals and objectives presented in the creative brief for the rebranding campaign, while also considering what the very action of upcycling is played a major part in fashioning a distinctive brand aesthetic.
Textures, images, typography, personas and brand target audience were all collectively factored into every design iteration and decision implemented for every marketing medium developed for the Green Living 2.0 rebranding campaign.
Developing the various campaign touch points began with sketching, wireframing as well as storyboards. Careful adherence to consistently extending the design decisions to each touch point ensured that every solution developed reaffirmed the Upcycle brand values, the merits of green living and it’s worthiness as an honorable everyday practice for contemporary lifestyles.
From magazine ad to billboard, website to smart phone app, vehicle graphic to promotional gear, the rebranding of Upcycle Products was steered and guided by a consistent three step process, strategic planning, conceptual iterating and creative execution. All of which was rooted in research and the compiled findings to guide design strategy into design solution.