Our work with Minnesota Environmental Partnership began with a request for meeting, then a proposal to design their annual lobbying campaign for the Minnesota State Legislature.
MEP is a unique umbrella policy and lobbying nonprofit that represents Minnesota interests related to water quality, the greater environment, community advocacy and natural resources management. Their member organizations’ interests span the political spectrum. As we discussed their work and reviewed materials from recent years in the initial meeting, we became convinced that the logo that had been designed for them only a couple years before neither projected their comprehensive view, their professionalism nor the visionary consensus process they formulated to best serve the policy development goals of their 90-some member organizations.
MEP’s process asks all member organizations to participate in an annual initiative to submit to a consensus committee proposals for legislative action and funding. That group chooses the five strongest policy directions as key initiatives behind which the full roster of member organizations will put their support to get them in front of the legislature. The collaborative process fosters more fully dimensional thinking and serves as a sounding board to ensure that the ideas will earn the support of a broad cross-section of interest groups, best representing the needs and concerns of the larger populace in Minnesota.
Our conviction about MEP’s identity was addressed in the proposal, which they initially received with understandable caution. But they were open to our thoughts, and agreed to a limited-scope exploration providing that designs we presented would retain the four icons in their existing logo—the loon (Minnesota’s state bird), water, a deciduous tree, and a coniferous tree. We examined a number of different approaches, and the final design was the result of a collaboration with them, to which we added a clearer representation of land plus air (the cloud).
Once the logo design was completed, we developed stationery in compliance the the US Postal Service’s latest word about address formatting, then codified style recommendations for logo usage, typography, and color in a compact, style manual pdf.
True to their form as thinkers and organizers, the development of the Fact Sheets, Legislative Overview and Briefing Book followed one of the smoothest courses of any project of comparable scale in which we’ve participated. We brought the energy and color of the new logo into the literature. And the design of the materials they chose succeeds in presenting their stories with greater impact, visual variety, and added resonance—with the addition of testimonials by members of the larger environmental, governmental, and press communities—which we suggested.