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Chautauqua-Warren Birding Association

CWBA Logo

We agreed on three main purposes for the club: Education, Conservation, and Community. When talking with one of our partnering organizations, we explored the idea of being inclusive of people at all ages and skill levels and taking them from "nest to sky". In the final version of the logo, I speak to that theme with a Purple Martin in a nest gourd with other Purple Martins flying off into the sky. I used letterforms as guides for a dual-county outline. 

When I started working on the logo, I explored many different ideas. I tried some that were more illustrative, some that were more typographic, and some that used simple graphics. Ultimately, these ideas didn't seem to communicate the vision of the club and were too non-specific. Though I liked the inclusion of other natural elements along with birds in idea number four, it became too much for a logo. 

I tried a few indexical directions with the feather in idea one and the binoculars in idea two. At this point I asked myself, how could someone tell this was the Chautauqua-Warren Bird Club as opposed to a bird club existing anywhere else in the world? With the Purple Martin Icon in number three I felt I was getting closer but it needed something more. 

After the disbanding of a local bird club following participation levels dropping due to covid, I helped to co-found a new club serving the areas of Chautauqua County, NY and Warren County, PA. My partner and co-founder Devin Banning took the lead on presentational and organizational aspects while I volunteered to do the design and social media management work. 

Logo Ideation

Nest Box Map

Using data from the New York State Breeding Bird Atlas, a citizen science project documenting breeding birds across New York, I mapped locations of different breeding birds that use nest boxes across the counties. Different colors indicate different birds (blue for Eastern Bluebird, Purple for Purple Martin, Yellow for American Kestrel etc.) and I was able to see the distributions across the counties. The two most frequent nest sites were for Eastern Bluebirds and Purple Martins. Since the Eastern Bluebird is already a symbol of the New York State Bluebird Society as well as the state bird of New York, I decided to pick the Purple Martin for this logo.  

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The primary color is a deep purple which reflects the color of the Purple Martins in the logo. The other colors represent different habitats found in the counties such as forests, beaches, and grasslands.

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When creating the identity for this club, one thing that was brought up was the need to encourage younger people to join the club. Previous clubs had shut down due to lack of interest among members to continue meeting. Creating a social media with a strong unified feed to let people know about local hotspots, conservation issues, and meetings will help create a stronger community and connection among younger people who may be interested in joining the club. The page will have a mix of purely informational posts and photography based posts of local areas and birds. 

I created this visual identity guide as a way for people leading the club to know how to keep the visual style consistent across social media and the website. It explains the colors, typeface, and logos so that people know when to use them. This guide exists as a PDF that can be sent to different leaders in the club when needed.  

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