GrowNYC A brand update for the NYC organization that brings New Yorkers the beloved Union Square Greenmarket.

  • New GrowNYC logo, in full color and 1-color

    New GrowNYC logo, in full color and 1-color

  • GrowNYC 2009 Annual Report

    GrowNYC 2009 Annual Report

  • GrowNYC 2009 Annual Report

    GrowNYC 2009 Annual Report

  • GrowNYC 2009 Annual Report

    GrowNYC 2009 Annual Report

  • GrowNYC 2009 Annual Report

    GrowNYC 2009 Annual Report

  • GrowNYC stationery set

    GrowNYC stationery set

  • GrowNYC 2010 annual report - front cover

    GrowNYC 2010 annual report - front cover

  • GrowNYC website, announcing re-branding

    GrowNYC website, announcing re-branding

  • Mayor Bloomberg speaks at a GrowNYC fundraising event

    Mayor Bloomberg speaks at a GrowNYC fundraising event

  • GrowNYC email newsletter template

    GrowNYC email newsletter template

  • New GrowNYC logo, carved into a pumpkin at the Greenmarket

    New GrowNYC logo, carved into a pumpkin at the Greenmarket

  • Brochure for consulting initiative, GrowNYC Partners

    Brochure for consulting initiative, GrowNYC Partners

  • Brochure for consulting initiative, GrowNYC Partners

    Brochure for consulting initiative, GrowNYC Partners

  • Postcard for consulting initiative, GrowNYC Partners

    Postcard for consulting initiative, GrowNYC Partners

  • Print promotions for consulting initiative, GrowNYC Partners

    Print promotions for consulting initiative, GrowNYC Partners

  • Print promotions for consulting initiative, GrowNYC Partners

    Print promotions for consulting initiative, GrowNYC Partners

 

[CASE STUDY]

The Union Square Greenmarket – the largest and most successful open-air farmers market in the country – is a New York City icon, but few people are aware that this and all greenmarkets in the city are programs of the 40-year-old Council on  the Environment of NYC (CENYC).

“CENYC? What’s that?” would be the response of most New Yorkers when asked about the Council. As a result, the Council lost opportunities to engage people in its programs and to raise money from donors, many of whom didn’t grasp the full scope of the organization’s work.

Project Introduction
The Union Square Greenmarket – the largest and most successful open-air farmers market in the country – is a New York City icon, but few people are aware that this and all greenmarkets in the city are programs of the 40-year-old Council on the Environment of NYC (CENYC).

“CENYC? What’s that?” would be the response of most New Yorkers when asked about the Council. As a result, the Council lost opportunities to engage people in its programs and to raise money from donors, many of whom didn’t grasp the full scope of the organization’s work.

Recently the Council turned to Julia Reich Design to create a new brand identity that would be recognized by more people.

Branding Issues
The brand update project was undertaken to address a number of critical branding issues:

1. Misconception about what CENYC does
2. A long and outdated name
3. The acronym ‘CENYC’ and the old logo communicated nothing about the organization
4. Poor brand recognition
5. Stagnant and inconsistent visuals

The Branding Process
The development and design of the new brand identity for CENYC was accomplished in five phases:

Phase 1: Research
Phase 2: Logo Design Development
Phase 3: Refining the Logo Design
Phase 4: Collateral Design Development
Phase 5: Finalizing the Designs

The Name Change
The client agreed that the CENYC name had to change. The new name had to tell constituents and stakeholders who CENYC is and what it does. It had to be succinct yet reflect the organization’s vision.

GrowNYC became the name of the organization.

The word “Grow” means to “increase by natural development;” synonyms include develop, cultivate, and produce. All these variants applied to the work of CENYC. For the organization, “grow” could mean growing awareness, growing minds, growing food, or growing gardens — all things within its program areas.

Brand Attributes
A brand is more than just a logo – it is an essential means to communicate the nature or personality of an organization. An important part of the pre-design work is to understand this organization.

We compiled a list of adjectives and statements that described their mission, vision, and values, how the mission had changed over the years, and proposed changes. These were distilling into a list of Brand Attributes:

• Hands-On
• Impactful
• Local
• Effective
• Community focused
• Passionate
• Transformational
• Dedicated
• Pro-active
• Responsive
• Accessible

Chief among these attributes was “accessible.” Accessibility was clearly an important characteristic for the brand to evoke because the organization was very conscious of its democratic underpinings. It is an organization that reaches out to and works with a wide spectrum of New Yorkers. The new brand had to evoke this.

The Visual Identity
A successful logo will capture the essence of the organization. What appears to be magic is actually the result of a thorough process that requires exploration of different approaches, careful consideration of the criteria while reviewing the options, and attention to detail in refining the logo for perfect production on paper and in electronic media. Logo design requires the delicate balance that orchestrates the right images, symbols, fonts, colors, and layout to achieve harmony.

The final logo resembles a seal or crest; it is self-contained and impactful.

Bold and colorful, the style of the apple directly references the current Greenmarket apple. Because Greenmarket is the organization’s strongest brand, and is a name in the farmers market world that NYC residents have known for 30 years, we kept the old Greenmarket logo, but with a facelift, so that it directly compliments the new GrowNYC logo. The final logo retained a visual connection to the Greenmarket logo in order to take advantage of that brand equity.

Unlike the old logo, this new look is accessible, and has a “home-grown” feeling that reflects the grassroots nature of GrowNYC’s work. This now looks like the kind of organization people want to get involved in.

The Outcome
CENYC is now GrowNYC. The new name and eye-catching logo clearly communicate its work in growing: regional agriculture, green spaces, natural resources, and the environmental leaders of the future. The name has changed, but its values and programs are the same.

Happily, GrowNYC had the perfect opportunity to launch its new brand: It’s 40th Anniversary celebration in 2010 which involved a year-long series of events. This gave the organization an opportunity to showcase its new name and logo to all stakeholders in a celebratory, upbeat spirit.

Read the entire case study on the Nonprofit Brand It! website.

 

“Going through the process calls an organization to reflect on its work, its profile, its objectives, and its future. This is not always an easy task for a busy, multi-programmatic organization, but has many rewards in the end – including a better “brand,” which goes far to convey our mission and work. We are grateful to have had Julia guide us through our re-branding. She provided the right balance of encouragement and push-back in order to guide us towards the best outcome.”
—Amanda G, Communications Director, GrowNYC