Up With Trees Rebranding Campaign

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"Thank you so much for all of the help you have given us this year - from designing our new website, working with us on our new logo and trading our new video to everything in between. The website looks incredible and the video has moved everyone to tears who has watched it. We truly appreciate all you have done. Thank you!" - Julie Davis, Up With Trees Associate Director

Awards

2014
DesignFirms Awards
2014
Davey Awards
Silver Award
2015
SIAAwards
Gold Award
2015
Communicator Awards
Silver Award of Distinction

Since 1976, Up With Trees' mission is to beautify greater Tulsa by planting trees and to create urban forestry awareness through education. With the support of volunteers and donors, UWT plants along streets and trails, in parks, schools, fire stations, neighborhoods, and other public properties. UWT has planted over 30,000 trees and maintain another 20,000 at more than 500 sites throughout Tulsa.


Branding

UWT's original logo hadn't been updated since the 1970's. Our first priority was to create a logo which captured their mission while remaining clean, bright, and easy to reproduce in any number of situations, black and white or full color, from web production to letterhead.

The typeface we chose is a solid, sturdy-looking, almost-but-not-quite-ordinary sans serif, denoting the unique strength and long-lasting durability of trees. We then added a playful accent in the form of a single leaf emerging from the "I" in "With." The Kelly green color scheme combines well with black, making the logo pop from the page like a force of nature.

Some versions of the logo include the slogan "Planting, Preserving & Promoting Tulsa's Urban Forest," explaining UWT's mission in a nutshell.


Video Production

Up With Trees Green Leaf Gala 2014 Video
A major fundraising event for Up With Trees is their annual Green Leaf Gala, a formal affair for donors and special guests from the Tulsa elite. UWT approached us to produce a video to explain the good work the organization does for and within Tulsa, culminating in an impassioned plea for action.

We immediately set to work on a script which would show Up With Trees in the best possible light.


The Heartbeat: Hope
The physical and emotional centerpiece of the video is a segment about Madison and her son Jackson. After the tragic death of her fiance John, Madison chose to sponsor a tree in downtown Tulsa as a living tribute for her fiance and a place where their son could go to remember him. We filmed this segment in a simple but powerful style, intercutting her dialogue with photos of John and his family in happier times. We ended with video of Madison and Jackson visiting the tree site, closing the segment on a hopeful note.

Still, we didn't want the entire video to be too maudlin. We gathered a group of children, mostly of UWT's employees, and filmed them playing in a wooded area. We then interviewed each one about why they thought trees were important. Their responses, along with video of them at play, formed the gala video's opening bumper segment.

The Heartbeat: Downtown
After the segment with Madison and Jackson, we continued with a brief segment with local business owners and celebrities holding signs about the positive aspect of Up With Trees and their impact on Tulsa. Finally we decided the video needed an uplifting segment ... literally. We wanted dramatic shots of one of Up With Trees' arbors. To that end, we acquired a camera drone. Despite high winds, we managed to create several swooping shots which started near eye level among the trees, then lifting up high in the air, framing the skyline and other Tulsa landmarks between the trees and the setting sun.

We chose "The Heartbeat" as the title theme of the video, evoking life and movement. The video creates a statement about the effects of trees in our lives and our complimentary places in nature. In parts fun, sobering, emotional, and idealistic, the video provided a perfect capstone to the 2014 Green Leaf Gala. UWT garnered a record-setting $350,000 in donations at the gala, twice the amount that had ever been raised before. 


Website Design

Up With Trees already had a website when the project started, but it had languished for several years and was in desperate need of a new look and feel. We started by culling as much useful information as we could from their old Wordpress-based site, then wiped the slate clean and started over from scratch. Our first priority was choosing a warm, nature-based color palette to suggest bright sun, fresh air, and (of course) green trees. Terra cotta, orange, green, sky blue, and dark brown became our main pallette.

Following the themes of our rebranding campaign, we selected a leaf motif for accent graphics and added a quirky "shovel" selector for the home page to suggest earth and planting. Wood grain backgrounds are used sparingly, flirting with convention while still maintaining a light, modern look and feel.

The project includes deep integration with Google Calendar to keep track of upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. We included custom integration with credit card processors for donations. The site is built to take advantage of a modern content management system, which allows UWT to provide their own updates.

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