The need to understand the psychological responses to the climate crisis is vitally important. The Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) felt it needed to better communicate its expertise in this area, to a wider audience, to help increase its’ membership, funding and strengthen resilience for a just future.
The first step, before we could consider the visual design, was to understand and define the organisations ‘brand’. It is only once there is a shared understanding of an organisation internally, that it can communicate effectively externally.
Following a member’s questionnaire, I worked with a core team from the organisation to research, discuss and define who they are, their purpose, who they help and how they want to be perceived. We particularly focussed on defining and describing what they do – the core areas of their work. This was then summarised in a strapline, elevator pitch and key messages. Being able to confidently articulate their brand and communicate what they do – in presentations, lectures, workshops, articles, interviews and funding bids – has been very helpful.
We reviewed the existing logo, which I had designed many years ago, and wanted to make two changes. Use the Climate Psychology Alliance name big, rather than the strapline. And secondly, we felt the ‘barrier’, which the text faces-up-to, looked insurmountable. The end goal is not to ‘face difficult truths’, but by doing so, open the psychological barriers to positive change. The strapline ‘facing difficult truths’ was deemed to be so appropriate and powerful that we didn’t want to change it, but that the logo should in some way suggest ‘opening barriers’. Hence, the subtle opening in the barrier. The new logo has continuity with the old, while adding this element of hope.
I created a brand guidelines document, defining the brand, key messages, logo, typefaces, colour palette and design elements. This document also provides a mini-photo library. The 12 photos show plants growing in cracks / openings in concrete, as a metaphor for radical hope – that life can continue even in the most difficult of situations.
Bringing everything together I mocked-up how the new CPA website and materials could look.
Moving forward the brand identity will help to unify the organisation, raise its profile, express its expertise and professionalism, connect with audiences, communicate its message and help CPA to achieve its purpose.
“Mark helped us with re-envisioning the organisation through our branding and we found the work he did for us creative and renewing… this made a major contribution to the presentation of our new website and clarified the way we describe ourselves.” — Judith Anderson, Chair, Board of Directors