Farm to School of Park County
With a recently completed strategic plan, Farm to School of Park County recognized that while their organization might look small from the outside, they had real potential to grow and make a huge impact not only on their region, but across the state. They sought support with brand communications, messaging and creative, allowing their staff to put time and expertise back toward programs and operations. Seeing the potential to create some exciting work together, our team was eager to help. We began with an overall messaging refresh, moving toward a full copy and web design overhaul to help elevate the overall brand.
Farm and Agriculture
About the Client
Farm to School of Park County guides schools and communities in building a prosperous local food culture that places healthy food on the plates and in the minds of all Park County children and their families. First created in 2008 by a group of local parents, educators and community partners interested in building a farm to school experience for their children, Farm to School of Park County was established in 2018 as a way to increase reach into school districts and communities throughout the county. Farm to School of Park County sees a future where all Park County communities have a deep and meaningful connection to food and where it comes from.
We recently had the pleasure of working with Curmudgeon to workshop our brand messaging and for a full refresh of our website. We were a bit unsure at first about working with an outside group on the foundational pieces of our strategy, but we couldn’t be more pleased with the result. Josie and Jenny were responsive, professional, open to feedback and took the time to really learn and understand our unique perspective and needs. We are thrilled with the final delivery and cannot wait to work with them again on future projects!
Farm to School of Park County is a small, regional nonprofit with a dedicated staff who needed to put their time and energy toward programmatic work rather than the design and messaging of the brand. A connected issue was multiple versions of the brand being delivered and reflected by various stakeholders, board and staff, stemming from an overall lack of consistency and understanding in the brand’s core message.
We needed to build public awareness and amplify the programs and work of the organization by creating and delivering concise, consistent language across all communications and marketing channels. This led to the adoption of new brand messaging as part of a comprehensive website update. Within these larger objectives, FSPC sought to increase donations, meal and event participation, streamline staff and volunteer recruitment, strengthen business sponsorship and community partnerships, and grow their impact throughout the region and the state.
A Learning Curve
We needed to wrap our heads around the basics of Farm to School and some of the inherent biases that come along with the movement. For instance, a lack of understanding or agreement around what “healthy food” is and looks like, what children “should be” eating and why, reasons for access (or lack thereof) to local and quality foods, prevalence of advertising and the promotion of low-quality foods, lack of education around what’s at stake, unclear calls to action, and the fundamentals of Farm to School in the region – what foods are grown on site versus external partners, and what role do schools and students play in determining the meals they eat? And let’s not forget, a community with rapidly changing demographics and school enrollment due to low-income and transient populations.
We began with an in-depth strategic messaging workshop, reviewing current brand language, audience segments and rhetoric to help refine the overall brand structure and guide the organization’s growth. This led to new mission, vision, purpose and positioning statements, along with insights into the brand’s tone of voice that laid the groundwork for copy and creative direction on the updated website – centered around the organization’s programs, approach and community impact.
From May through July, we worked on writing and building copy, layout and design for the new FSPC website. While we carried over some of the basic functionality and brand elements from the earlier site, we expanded the color palette and updated fonts, incorporating more playful graphics alongside a fresh batch of photography and children’s illustrations. We reviewed strategic plans and annual reports to ensure the copy accurately reflected the brand’s story, programs, community impact and approach, while infusing a playful, accessible and trustworthy tone of voice into each page. The new site launched in early August, including pop-ups for fundraising, garden registration and annual programs with site tutorials to help staff easily update and navigate the site as needed throughout the year.
We crafted interactive maps to help visualize the range of programs, partners, schools, and farm and garden locations across the county and the state. Each map can be updated regularly to align with organizational growth and changes in partner involvement.
We loved this project and since launching, we’ve seen increasingly positive responses from the staff, board and partners with new opportunities for strategic partnerships, films and campaigns already on the horizon. Stay tuned for what’s next with FSPC!
Site Copy and Redesign