ioby brings environmental projects to life, block by block. It is an online crowd-resourcing platform that connects people and money to site-based green projects that are conceived, designed, and run by neighbors—which ensures community buy-in, and long-term caretakers.

Design Challenge

Incorporated in 2008 just three months before the economic collapse, ioby was forced to do a lot with a little. Many close friends, artists, designers, video producers created and contributed bits and pieces of our identity. ioby was home-grown, authentic and enterprising, just like our mission. But on the whole, our identity lacked coherence and an all-encompassing vision.

Project Objectives
We wanted to convey a connection to our community environmental work – in gardens, parks, bike lanes, tree beds, schools – while avoiding common cues of what defines a “green” business. We wanted the ioby identity to be bold, expressive, modern, organic, urban and youthful.

Description of deliverables
ioby’s efforts revolve primarily around urban projects that, in a sense, slice with daily life. When you look at a map of NYC with pins attached to all the projects ioby has supported, you see the organic accumulation of what they do. The inspiration for the logo derived from this idea: strong geometric and gridded letterforms that appear to peel away and unfold at certain intersections. The color palette is a nod to the richness of community gardens in the fall – beets, pumpkins, cornflowers.

An iconography system that could grow and expand with time was developed to represent the types of projects ioby helps foster – a garden, a playground, or a chicken coop. The icons were inspired by map pins. We wanted the imagery to be clear, fun (the worm gets a lot of laughs!) and stamp/sticker-like. Overall, we developed an adaptable system that could simply be extended to any type of media.

Audience/community outreach and involvement
We had a brainstorming session with some of our strongest supporters—our best donors, committed volunteers, successful project leaders—the people who helped shape our vision from the beginning, and many of the people who had contributed bits and pieces of ioby’s identity along the way. We asked each supporter to share with us what ioby meant at a personal level and why he or she felt connected to our work. We focused on the core of ‘who’ ioby is as an organization: our name, what we do, why we do it and how we do it. All the great ideas surfaced in this meeting were the perfect starting place for our new identity.

Social, Community, City Impact
Our new identity system is helping us to build a much stronger brand that resonates more deeply with New Yorkers, whether as donors, volunteers or project leaders. It has already allowed us to create a variety of new materials and resources that seem to represent our organization and our vision much more concretely and at the same time more creatively than we’ve ever been able to before. We’re especially excited about the iconography set. It has allowed us to create a unique look and feel for ioby across everything we use to communicate with supporters – creating a brand built around much more than a logo. Ultimately, the new identity helps us to attract and build a stronger base of supporters who feel more connected to our work. And this means more resources delivered to local groups, more successful local projects and greener neighborhoods across NYC.

2011, arts/community programs, green infrastructure, Projects, urban farming + food education