Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Translating wow, wonder, and welcome into a vivid new brand for a century-old institution.

A vibrant rebrand can pave the way to a bright future for startups and storied institutions. In light of its upcoming expansion, 19 Ideas partnered with Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens to develop a new logo along with an updated brand language including mission, vision, and positioning statements. We were charged with creating a new identity and voice for a venerable organization that suits not only who it is today but also considers who it will be on the other side of a major capital investment.

A chance to reflect and reset.

Our work began with a brand audit. Observing and evaluating the brand in market allowed us to share findings with the client to align on areas of challenge and opportunity. Our proprietary brand audit looks at a client’s marketing collateral, website, social platforms, internal and external communication, and more. The evaluation period is followed by strategically scoring areas of concern ranked by the immediacy with which they need to be addressed.

A brand audit provides insight and perspective that’s helpful at any point in a brand’s life cycle. The audit evaluates overall health of a brand and how it is being received by audiences, specifically identifying opportunities for growth and external threats to the primary value proposition. An audit provides a chance to reflect and reset to maintain competitiveness in an ever changing consumer market place.

Working together.  

Once the audit was delivered, we utilized its findings to fuel the creation of a new Brand Story for the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. It was important that the language reflect the values and vision of the organization, and we prioritized the varied and encompassing experience the cultural institution has to offer in addition to its marvelously lush indoor plantings.

It had been many years since foundational brand language had been created for the Botanical Gardens. Throughout the brand audit and in preparation for this work, the organization’s leadership team shared their ethos summed up by the three Ws (wow, wonder, and welcome) as well as the four Ps (people, plants, planet, and pollinators). We used these devices for both information and inspiration. We also used our approach to developing brand archetypes to further define the organization’s personality traits and voice.

19 Ideas worked closely with leadership and members of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens’ board to arrive at a Brand Story emulating the organization’s spirit and goals while connecting with audiences, both existing and desired.

A colorful vision blooms.

Aligned with the organization’s new mission and vision, our design team created four logo variations and lockups. All versions earned praise from the client, but a design utilizing bold custom illustrations was the clear favorite.

The selected logo art features two flowers in full bloom illustrated in a sophisticated but primitive style evocative of Henri Matisse’s work — an artist active during the period of the Botanical Gardens’ design and construction.

Further inspiration from the art world is taken in the typography, which is subtly reminiscent of a gallery tag next to a painting on the wall. The primary typeface for the logo, New Spirit, complements the shapes in the logo art while bringing a touch of humanity to the logomark with soft serifs.

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens’ new logo features custom illustrations leveraging the new logo’s art style. Illustrations include plants, pollinators, and features from the Botanical Gardens’ buildings and grounds.

Updates to the verbal and visual brand embody the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens’ historic past, transformative present, and promising future. Bold elements bring the brand to life and reinforce the Botanical Gardens as an integrated member of Buffalo’s cultural fabric. We are excited to be part of the evolution of the Botanical Gardens.

Start a project
NYS Certified Woman Owned Business Enterprise

32C Essex Street
Buffalo, NY 14213

© 2024 by 19 Ideas, Inc. All Rights Reserved.