Our expert approves of the charity's new 'open and confident' logo
Plantlife was founded in 1989 to protect wild plants. It aims to educate people about the importance of natural habitats and carries out conservation work such as managing nature reserves.
Membership of the charity grew steadily before levelling off at 10,000. This, and the decision by other charities such as the National Trust, the Woodland Trust and the RSPB to broaden their remits to include plants and habitats, posed a threat to the charity.
It responded by hiring the not-for-profit branding specialist Spencer du Bois to develop a visual identity that would redefine the charity's purpose and help it to increase membership. "The big issue was to identify how to tell people about the importance of wild plants in their natural habitat," says John Spencer, creative director at Spencer du Bois, which was appointed to handle the project in May last year.
Spencer's business partner Max du Bois led research and consultation on the project during the summer, and in September the creative work began.
The agency initially came up with a range of approaches to the new identity, particularly the logo. More than 10 options were presented to staff at Plantlife, who narrowed them down.
Spencer du Bois then developed final options before creating the charity's 'brand language' and guidelines for the new visual identity, which state how and where it should be used.
The old globe and leaf were jettisoned in favour of a new logo that has images of wild plants running through it. It is available in a range of styles, fonts and colours so it can be used widely across different media.
The new look was unveiled on 24 May and was accompanied by the launch of a new website, which was designed by Spencer du Bois and built by web developers Electric Putty.
Mark Reay, head of development and communications at Plantlife, says that because so many people live in cities and the natural environment is being rapidly lost to development and agriculture, fewer people understand the importance of wild plants in their natural habitat.
"The new brand gives Plantlife a distinctive identity and the means with which to engage more people who have an intrinsic love of wild plants or care about how wild plants are faring in our countryside," he says.
EXPERT VIEW - SIMON MYERS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, FIGTREE
Gone are Plantlife's cliched globe and the slightly exhausting strapline "our plants, our planet, our future", which made the charity sound like a UN biodiversity report.
In its place is a more authoritative logo that is bigger and bolder and makes a clearer link with wild plants. It also has a greater practical application for different media and backgrounds.
The alternative colours of the logo, and the fact that part of it is transparent, hint at a more open and confident relationship with the charity's supporters and wider public opinion.
With this welcome rebrand comes a renewed focus on the charity's strongest asset - its great name.
The rebrand sets up the charity to get its story out to a wider audience in a much more punchy and engaging manner.
8 out of 10