The Northern Light Project (NLP for short) is a project set up by a group of friends who liked to spend their spare time helping out various charities in need.
The website aims to catch peoples attention, quickly give information and facts about the project and also act as a base of operations where news can be uploaded and shared via social media.
The main focus is to quickly give information to website visitors before they lose interest and move on. This is done by giving quick, snappy subtitles and then summing up that section without too much text.
Spreading the love
A few friends in America enjoyed helping their local community, but whilst travelling through North America one of them noticed how there was a need for volunteers within local food halls and charity centres.
With this knowledge, they decided they would buy an old school bus and travel around North America lending their aim where it was needed.
However, they felt it would be beneficial to have a logo which they could print onto the side of their bus as well as onto t-shirts and other clothing. I also recommended using a website use as a way to inform about their campaign, how they are helping, and possibly somewhere they can chat, share the website or even donate to the cause.
“The Northern Light Project consists of a small group of people who travel around Northern America helping any charity that needs a hand along the way.”
Pen meets paper
For the logo, I wanted it to really capture their fun, laid back attitude. Initially we discussed the use of icons and symbolic meanings, but after discussing various ideas, we lent towards the idea of using a hand drawn “logotype”. The reasoning behind this is that it initially obvious, unlike abstract logos, and is also pleasing to look at.
The hand writing style gives the logo a slightly more human connection and that is a really nice relation for the logo to have to a team with such compassion for human life.
With all of my logotype designs, I end up drawing the logo/words 100+ times. With various styles, pens and layouts. Here you can see a stack of paper focusing on one style. If you have a keen eye, you will spot thy all say “lights” instead of “light”. This is because the team decided to remove the “s” as I moved onto the digital stage.
Pen to pixels
After writing the word Northern and Lights over and over and over and over. Finally there were a select few that really stood out among the others.
Putting these chosen few together, I sent them over to the guys and chatted them through the various styles and layouts. The feelings they give off, what the styles says about the project, and so on.
We all decided upon one design above the rest. A slight upward slant, a stylised underline coming off the capital “L” and three dashes that all ran (near enough) parallel.
I then got to work digitalising this chosen one. Giving it clean edges, sleek curves and a nice flow from letter to letter.
Keeping the viewers interest
Moving onto the website design, I made it clear to the team that I felt the best way forward is to keep the information light, the sub-titles snappy and keep the focus on the information they are providing.
Visitors to any website can lose interest quickly for a variety of reasons. One is that they are bombarded with too much text or overwhelmed with so many pictures and graphics they don’t know where to start. I wanted to avoid this.
Breaking the information NLP wanted to share into bite sized pieces, and following a method that delivers this information quickly. Ending with ways the public can help in a non-intrusive/pushy way.
What they do. Why they do it. How visitors can help. Social sharing buttons. Contact form. The basics we wanted to cover.
A welcoming, eye catching section which should interest the viewer and also show off the logo so that it builds a visual identity for the viewer to recognise should they see it again.
What exactly it is the team does. What they will potentially do moving forward and why they do it.
Why they are doing this. What the problem they are trying to solve is and why they believe they should help solve it.
How the view can help them keep going to help others in need.
Donation collection, to help support the team pay for food, gas, clothing, etc.
Not everyone can afford to donate, but may still want to help. Sharing is a way to do this and better than doing nothing.
Ending with a contact form for any questions, suggestions, kind words or someone who wants to offer a different kind of help.
Ready to hit the road
It was great to be able to provide my services to a group who are working towards such a great cause.
Initially, they came to me with a huge amount of passion for what they wanted to do, but no idea how to best implement it. I managed to offer my expertise to help them build an idea on how to make the most of the digital technology we have.
They were very open to my ideas of how to get the information across, as well as the simplicity of the logo and website. I also offered ideas to sell clothing with the logo on to raise money for their trip, as well as help people who want to help represent them in their daily lives.