I’ve been working over the past few months with a subgroup of the Rocky Mountain Mutual Aid Network that has been focused on developing a community of small local “pods” focused on creating relational space where people can come together and support each other. The aim of this network is to build community and retain people who get involved with mutual aid work in the Rocky Mountain region.
Much of my work has been focused on designing and implementing infrastructure. This post will go over my work on developing a brand identity for the group, which recently settled on a name: Rocky Mountain Pod Project (RMPP).
The group went through a process, facilitated by the amazing designer Deacon Rodda, to develop a Business Model Canvas—a lean business plan of sorts. Through this process, we came up with three core values.
By forming into small tight knit groups that are empowered with tools to relate on deep levels we can form networks of people who can weather the coming troubles.
Wellbeing for all
By focusing on wellbeing for ourselves, our peers, and the more than human world we can create patterns of resiliency.
Capacity to act
By supporting each other in being resilient and healthy we create more capacity to act in the ways that the world needs us to.
In addition to these values we envisioned a network of overlapping small groups called pods which would form a larger network that supported people in building their holistic resiliency (the primary value) which supported wellbeing as well as generating capacity to act to address the crisis of our time.
Creating the Logo
In a stroke of inspiration I imagined a map of this community made up of overlapping circles (pods). Each pod represents a group with a different focus. RMPP believes that the base foundation of any group is healthy relationships. From there a group might decide to pursue a project or hold space to support its members emotional or material well being.
It started with a quick sketch in my notebook:
I then created this concept logo in Illustrator and shared it with the community.
There was excitement around the concept and shortly after one of our participants mocked up this gem.
Inspired by the in line layout I began to play around with creating something a little less busy. I wanted to find a style that was easy to read and understand but didn’t fall into the trap of modern design trends with flat colors. I came upon the idea of watercolor which I felt offered a nice texture, a handmade quality, and bright color pallet.
From here I began to play around with the ascender and descender of the “p” and “d”. I started to sketch out some patterns and shapes on paper then scanned them:
I took the hands and masked the watercolor textures over them to create the final version.
I used a slab font for the word “project” because it’s structured vibes go well with the handmade quality of the logo. I decided to use a handwritten font for the word “Rocky Mountain” because I forsee other Pod Projects springing up in other regions. I felt that each region could use it’s own hand written font to give each regional logo a personal flair.
I then used other sketches to create elements for use on the website.
Using the watercolor circles and icons I took the branding into the site. All the code is available on GitHub. The layout and design is a fairly simple 3 column layout. Lots of white space and colorful elements.
I’ve very pleased with how this came out and feel like it really captures the soothing, bright, and beloved flavor of the Pod Project.
Learn more about the project and get involved over at rmman.org/pods.