Roots and Branches
Roots & Branches is an innovative social consultancy providing advice and support to social enterprises, communities and public services. Based in Wigan and serving the surrounding area, its mission is to develop strong leaders who wish to transform grassroots communities and make a positive contribution to society.
Brief and objectives
Roots & Branches began life as the Roots Project, founded by social entrepreneur Liz Douglas in 2009 with the aim to create a movement amongst the most disadvantaged communities in the UK.
As is often the case this sector, since that time Liz has been incredibly busy doing the ‘grassroots’ work she loves to do and had little or no time to devote to talking about it! She had a social media presence, but no place she could call ‘home’ online and showcase the work she does.
We were recommended to Liz by another client, Homeless House, and were more than happy to help. After discussing Liz’s work and objectives, we set about breathing new life into her existing branding and designing and building a website.
Roots & Branches’ ethos is ‘to engage and grow both the root and branch of the social enterprise world, one community at a time’. This meant that there was previously quite a literal approach to the tree element of their branding, which Liz was keen to retain.
We wanted to make her new logo and brand clearer, simpler, and more contemporary. Practical uses of the logo, including social media, was also a factor in the final design. The colours were chosen to better reflect the subject image and name. The soft olive green and orange do this job and work well alongside both colour and black and white photography.
Through completing and reviewing a website design brief together, we wanted to create a website that made it immediately obvious what Roots and Branches is all about, and the services that are being offered.
As this was born out of a personal venture, keeping things personal was particularly important to Liz, and all images used across the website are from her own collection. They reflect the work she has done, the people she has met and the projects she has been involved in. This brings her website to life in a way that stock images would simply not have done.
We created several sections to showcase Liz’s background, services and past work; all with the aim of encouraging others to sign up to the courses and events on offer and to promote their upcoming membership programme.
Roots & Branches also has some high-profile partners which add credibility to their work, so we wanted to draw attention to these.
Liz is all about people, so making it as easy as possible to contact her was key. The contact form is repeated across the site, as well as its own page.
Design-wise, keeping the messaging clear and the navigation simple was a must for the site, with the company ethos front and centre.
Large imagery showcasing the work Roots and Branches have been involved in was used to put their story across, especially on the home page. The new brand colours create a bright feel and sections of the logo are animated to add a bit of extra interest to each page.
The site was also designed for ease-of-use so the client is able to update information themselves behind the scenes.