Client Need: A new, professionally designed brand identity and communication materials that would resonate with prospective students.
Background: The Colorado Building Farmers (CBF) program is a unique and comprehensive program, coordinated through Colorado State University Extension, that teaches beginning farmers and ranchers how to start and maintain a new farm or ranching operation or expand and improve an existing one.The program combines classroom learning, networking opportunities, coaching, mentoring, internships, and technical assistance.
Every brand is unique in some way. For CBF, it’s about an integrative approach to agricultural education that combines classroom learning and in-field study. But it goes further. CBF offers real world coaching, mentoring and internships. It’s a hands-on learning experience that prepares future farmers and ranchers for success, and is an important incubator for Colorado’s local and regional food production and marketing systems.
Our Approach: First, we wanted to revitalize the brand while maintaining its equity. For us that meant telling CBF’s unique story cleanly and professionally…something that the existing brand identity struggled to do. Often, the best logos are the most simple, without being too literal.
The new CBF logo provides a visual icon that illustrates what Colorado agriculture is all about – vast, with altitude. It’s an aspiring visual. Then of course, we added the green and gold colors of Colorado State University. For typography just something clean and immediately readable.
Now, to tell the story. Educational programs can be very detailed, so we designed a fold-out brochure that opens and tells the program’s comprehensive story. Here we balanced the extensive copy (which we wrote and edited) with a wide variety of classroom and field photographs.
To generate greater interest and readability, we created a design system of interconnected circles, just like farming plots, to showcase the photos. Spreading the photos across pages improves message flow.
For structure, we opted for something different that the ubiquitous “trifold” vertical brochure. Like CBF itself, this brochure is different…it’s a 6″ X 6″ square.
For event banners, we decided on a mural approach, combing three separate panels. Each tells its own story, and combined, tells the full story of Colorado Building Farmers.
For brand communication synergy we used the same design system as the brochure. The banners have a clean, white background in order to optimize contrast and readability from a distance. These are simple pull-up banners and are very flexible to use, and also cost-effective – something that CBF required.
The CBF brand has now been revitalized and is ready to communicate.