08 July 2009

Branding The Intertwine

2137.Noted in passing was the rebranding of the Metro initiative, formerly known as Connecting Green, into a new look they're calling The Intertwine.

The idea behind Connecting Green is to create, cooperatively, out of the abundance of awesome green spaces that the greater Portland area is rightly famous for, a world-class parks and recreation system. Connecting Green is the alliance of local authorities that was to make this happen.

The identity "Connecting Green" did need a little "sprucing" ('scuse) up, and not just because the website used Comic Sans. Whoever decided that the new identity needed something slick (but not too slick) and modern (but approachable) had the right idea.

The name The Intertwine has a modern connotation (I bet you thought of the Internet when you heard that name) and a rustic connotation (in as much as the word twine refers to a low-tech device used to tie things together). It also represents the apparent aims of the initiative – to meld, with regional cooperation, the vast public green space wealth of the greater Portland/Vancouver area – with deft cleverness, and extending the "internet" metphor, it, too, represents a network of networks.

The logo is a real winner, IMO. The swirling motion of four parts coalescing into a center is given dynamic energy by increasing the size of the parts from the 3 o-clock throug the twelve o-clock positions. It's a risk to come up with a logo where individual parts mean something – they tend to get shambolic very quickly – but the design keeps it simple. The four parts of the symbol represent the four properties of the Intertwine, which are trails, water, greenspace and … well, I forget the fourth, but it might be Whiffie's fried pies (and if it isn't, it should be). The type was also well-chosen: it has a humanist, hand-wrought feel to it. It's actually rather organic and has a pleasant cross between subtle and chunky.

The website currently comprises a splash screen whose bottom part alters to an input box for your email so they can keep you updated with press releases and announcments. But the style is very well chosen as is the palette, which is made of simple flat colors with an earthy overtone. Simple shapes and artful type keep it all very human.

It's a definite improvement, and a very clever use of branding to promote a connection to nature and the environment.

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