BRAND STRATEGY | IDENTITY SYSTEM DESIGN
Build a brand for a local dog-walking park to encourage the local community to take ownership of it and assist in and/or contribute to its beautification and upkeep.
Identity System Design
Social Content Creation
The community affinity for the brand caught like wildfire, with merchandise sales contributing significantly to funding various maintenance and beautification programs in the area.
As creatives, a lot of us don’t have the financial capital to donate to the upliftment of our own communities in the meaningful ways that many of our clients can. That is not to say, however, that we can’t or shouldn’t look to contribute and get involved in some way.
In an effort to give back to my community, I took it upon myself to develop a brand for the local park where myself and so many others walk our four-legged friends.
Hamilton Park is a social hub for the many dog owning residents of the leafy suburb of Bryanston in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is a beautiful, fenced off space where we can safely walk our dogs, catch up with our neighbours, and build a real sense of community in a world that increasingly seems to warp that concept under the guise of digital connection.
After a particularly rainy summer, it became evident that many folks were taking advantage of the park's benefits without a thought given to its maintenance. Droppings were simply being left where they landed for others to pick up, and we even had an outbreak of hookworm to contend with as a result. There was a system in place whereby monetary contributions could be made to a gentleman who took the initiative to clean up after the dogs, but many people weren't paying up, either through lack of awareness or sheer selfishness and entitlement.
The initial spark for the idea was simply a drive to have the community take ownership of the park themselves, either by helping to keep the park clean or by making financial contributions towards maintenance and beautification programs.
I created a brand identity cool enough to exploit merchandising opportunities, yet friendly, humorous and concise enough to encourage action and engender a sense of pride in the community. The dogs love it too!
Firstly, a bold and highly visible logo was designed, depicting a retriever-type dog chasing after a ball, represented by the raised dot of the "i" in "Hamilton". The beagle-nosed among you may have sniffed out the second whippet-type dog formed by the negative space inside the first dog, which is a nod to the sense of community and socialisation offered by the park, for human and canine users alike.
Various iterations of the logo were then created, from condensed and stacked versions to badges, patches, and a playful tennis ball and bone pattern, forming an extensive – and still growing – brand asset pack that permits multiple applications and merchandising opportunities.
Next, a series of signs with a whole lot of personality were developed to introduce the new brand to local dog walkers, to instill a sense of community pride in them, and to encourage them to pick up after their dogs or contribute financially to park clean-up efforts.
Simple, witty, and sometimes naughty slogans were written to catch people's attention and get them to take action with smiles on their faces.