Koochiching County Food Access
Hunger Relief Nonprofit Brand and Website Design
- Brand strategy
- Brand design
- Graphic design
- Marketing strategy
- Web strategy
- Web design
kind words from happy clients
Koochiching County Food Access
Getting started with branding
KCFA reached out for brand support because their board had just approved a name change during their strategic planning process. Additionally, they were struggling with their messaging and visuals – both hadn’t been updated in quite a few years and the vision for the organization was growing. They also wanted to put more efforts into their digital presence and that meant getting an update to the website, starting an email newsletter and being more intentional about their social media marketing efforts. All of which required a solid brand foundation and strategy to build upon.
Brand strategy and messaging • the internal brand
When we first started clarifying their brand strategy, it became clear that there were three main brand communication challenges: lack of awareness around their services, overcoming the stereotype associated with using their services and the desire to offer more services and support.
A significant part of strategy our work together centered around identifying the different types of clients that utilized their services – their involvement with the organization, the life-happenings that led to their need for services and what other challenges might they be facing outside of hunger relief.
We also spent a good chunk of time defining the vision for the organization and the common thread that ties their current model together with what they want to accomplish in the future.
The common message that began to emerge was this idea around, “it’s not just about the food” and how they approach every activity and interaction with compassion.
The result was a 60+ page Brand Playbook that walks through all the basic strategy and messaging components that the KCFA team can reference to effectively communicate what their organization is all about with consistency.
Visual brand identity • the external brand
With the strategy in place, it was time to move onto visuals.
Because the name was changing, we were able to do a complete overhaul of KCFA’s existing visual brand which was so much fun.
The team’s biggest visual wants included having some ties to the location of Koochiching County and bringing a feeling of depth/groundedness to the overall visual aesthetic.
We started with an outline of Koochiching County to serve as the container for the primary logo and added in a custom graphic – a cross between a carrot and a beet, which is now lovingly referred to as The Barrot. We also incorporated a birch tree texture to bring in a nod to the Northern Minnesota landscape.
Typography and color updates
For the main logo type, we customized a bold and strong sans serif font to reflect the hardiness that Koochiching County residents have. For the colors, we aligned with the fall brand season to reflect depth, groundedness and approachability.
Website strategy and wireframe
With the internal and external brand wrapped, it was time to move onto the website. We kick off this phase of the project with a website strategy call where we dive into what’s working and what’s not with the current site, new site goals and new site functionality.
There wasn’t much to KCFA’s existing site – both in terms of content and functionality. It’s purpose was to be a place for clients to learn about where and when the food shelf and food distribution was open. Other than that, it didn’t do too much for the organization.
What the new site needed to do was not only be a place for clients to learn about services but also tell KCFA’s story; to serve as a place to edudate donors and funders. Lastly, they wanted to better leverage the website for collecting donations, so making that at the forefront was really important.
Based on those high level goals, we mapped out a new sitemap (what pages to include and structure of those pages) and wireframe. This allows us to intentionally highlight the different components of the website and specifically address the distinct audiences that would be utilizing the site; those who needed KCFA’s services and those who support the organization through donations, volunteer work or sponsorships.
We landed on a 10-page layout that highlighted KCFA’s services, made it easy for clients to find out where to get food and made it easy for visitors to make a donation.
Website design and launch
What we love most about this process is that there aren’t many surprises – since the client approved the wireframe, this phase is really just aesthetics. And, since we went through the entire branding process with them, we had a great handle on their brand and personality, allowing us to really bring it to life.