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For a Better Blue A Company Rebrand


“We witness firsthand how nature is changing around the world, then explain what the changes mean for wildlife and for people. With a special emphasis on the sea, we’re working to inspire a deeper connection between people and nature.” - Carl Safina


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Introduction The Blue Ocean Institute is currently ranked sixth among ocean conservation organizations and stands to improve upon that ranking by modifying its visual and brand identity. The organization stands to present itself with a greater foundation to build a better organization and compete against other large organizations such as the Ocean Foundation, Marine Conservation Institute and Oceana. The campaign will be geared towards the Institute’s target audience of adults 18-35. The impact from the work conducted by this organization will only be limited by the identity it exudes and the meaning it holds in the hearts and minds of the citizens of this world.


Table of Contents Research

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Paper Target Audience Competitors

8 16 18

Style

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Logo Colors Textures Images Typography

30 32 34 36 38

Evolution

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Final Designs

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References

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Mood Board Toolbox Logo Development

Social Media Mobile Application Product Placement Website Advertisements

22 23 26

42 44 45 46 47

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Research

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Research: Abstract The Blue Ocean Institute is currently ranked sixth among ocean conservation organizations and stands to improve upon that ranking by modifying its visual identity With a staff of approximately 40 individuals, it is a small organization with big goals to help protect the world’s oceans. By employing stronger color choices and bolder type to convey its messages, Blue Ocean Institute stands to present itself with a greater foundation to build a better organization and compete against other large groups such as the Ocean Foundation, Marine Conservation Institute and Oceana. It is by implementing an improved visual identity as well verbal identity that Blue Ocean Institute can continue to separate itself. Educational campaigns should be integrated in a more interactive and streamlined matter so as to further engage a target audience of adults 18-35. Incorporating social networking into the daily activities of the organization, Blue Ocean Institute can continue its educational campaigns and engage with followers and fellow conservationists – thereby increasing its transparency. It is the goal of the Blue Ocean Institute to instill a greater passion and connection between people and the world’s oceans and by presenting itself as the intellectual group it is, the Institute can see great success. This success include increased donations and support, both domestic and internationally, as well as stronger partnerships with other conservation organizations and stakeholders. Stakeholders range from interested conservationists, to those that simply dwell on or around waterways. The impact from the work conducted by this organization will only be limited by the identity it exudes and the meaning it holds in the hearts and minds of the citizens of this world.


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Research: Key Findings Ever present are the issues facing our oceans around the globe and conservation and special interest groups are fighting to protect them. Issues include overfishing, ocean warming, and ecosystem degradation (National Geographic, 2013). One such group is the Blue Ocean Institute, which focuses on education and changing perceptions of people around the world to better understand the importance, fragility and beauty of our oceans and large bodies of water (Blue Ocean Institute, 2013). Unique to conservation groups, Blue Ocean Institute’s focus on education far exceeds that of their major competition. The Institute’s competition includes the Ocean Foundation, Marine Conservation Institute, and Oceana. With more than $20 million raised in the past year across the different organizations, Blue Ocean Institute earned around 4% of that amount (Charity Navigator, 2013). In order to increase funding and enable Blue Ocean Institute to continue its work, it must modify messaging as well as its visual identity. Without appropriate funding and increased participation from volunteers, donors, Blue Ocean Institute may be faced with reducing its public engagement and will be unable to provide education services that are so valuable to preserving positive relationships between man and the sea. And without educated voices to spread factual information, future generations may grow up without understanding the role the ocean plays in the proper function of our world. This research paper will examine the current industry functions compared to Blue Ocean Institute when raising funds and awareness for the protection and preservation of the world’s oceans for today’s and future generations. The project will provide creative solutions to enhance both the visual and verbal identity for the Blue Ocean Institute in order to increase brand awareness and name recognition as well as establish it as a premier organization for ocean conservation.

The Blue Ocean Institute operates with five people on their staff. Three Ocean Fellows, four researchers, six education staff, seven interns, two volunteers, four graphic designers, and nine people comprising their board of directors (Blue Ocean Annual Report, 2013). Although that information is factual, it is also slightly misleading because Dr. Carl Safina, President of Blue Ocean Institute is counted twice. Once as a staff member and again as member of the Board of Directors. Carl Safina, who remains at the center of day-to-day activities, built this organization in 2003 with the commitment “to be leading voices of hope, guidance, and inspired change,” (Blue Ocean Annual Report, 2013). “We witness firsthand how nature is changing around the world, then explain what the changes mean for wildlife and for people.

With a special emphasis on the sea, we’re working to inspire a deeper connection between people and nature. We show how nature and human dignity require each other now. And we show how we can forge a future that maintains that next generation’s options. We’re helping envision and deliver a new conservation ethic for the 21st century.” – Carl Safina, 2013 Annual Report, Blue Ocean Institute. With more than 40 people, not including their partners, according to Blue Ocean Institute’s 2013 Annual Report, in the past year they have been on five continents, developed a sustainable food program, aired a TV series on PBS, and embarked on a voyage to “witness and respond creatively to the ocean garbage crisis,” among other things. In short, they have been busy.

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Research: Key Findings Cont’d So why aren’t more people aware of their presence? How are they traveling the world and ranked only fifth among their main competition? On the basis of their fundraising, they are stunted by The Ocean Foundation which in 2012 brought in over five million dollars in total revenue, (Charity Navigator, 2013) and Oceana which in that same time brought in $15 million in revenue, (Oceana, 2013).

This brand and visual identity should reflect the Institute’s core purpose of educating in order to change behaviors and the relationship between people and nature, or more specifically, the oceans. Currently heavy on ideas in progress and imagery, services and functions that would prove of greatest use would be to continue to capitalize on the education function across all aspects of the organization.

Oceana, for example has support from other foundations, organizations and individuals (Oceana.org, 2013). They also have a staff that’s double the size of Blue Ocean Institute’s entire organization combined. Oceana’s campaigns reflect the rest of their visual identity – strong and to a certain degree are like propaganda. Designed to intimidate the viewer, Oceana’s recent campaign were used in metro stations in the New York and Washington D.C. areas that asked the question, “What if it happened here?” and placed disasters in metropolitan cities where locals could not ignore what was happening around them. This causes the viewer to feel a level of remorse about their level of participation and persuade them to donate.

The methods used should include social media campaigns and a new rewards-based and interactive education program. Blue Ocean Institute would also benefit from a new and easy to navigate website - one that is not burdened by heavy text and embraces the beauty and functionality of white space.

That campaign, which reflects Oceana’s methods on a larger scale, is wholly different to how the Blue Ocean Institute seeks to fundraise and create awareness. With an honest intention to educate, change individual behaviors, and create awareness, the Institute would benefit from a refined mission and focused brand identity. A refined mission would meet the needs of the Institute’s target audience, which as it stands appears to be directed towards adults 18-35. This target audience represents the individuals and age group that would receive the greatest benefit of ocean conservation education and be of the mind to support change in marine ecosystems. Refining Blue Ocean Institute could reduce the filler text and commentary and can direct a more cohesive brand identity.

As far as the social media campaigns, if used strategically in accordance with an editorial calendar, it can be used to continue the process of education and highlight organizational activities. The interactive education program would allow for live video streams of researchers and staff to showcase their fieldwork as-it-happens and promote people to travel to and support the regions that need the greatest help. Thereby giving their target audience a firsthand look at the world around them and the good they are capable of doing for the planet. Blue Ocean Institute’s visual identity would see an improvement in brand awareness with revitalized and reorganized online and print materials. To revitalize their materials it would require an improved color palette that would differentiate them from their competition. To reorganize, Blue Ocean Institute’s materials should be refocused to highlight individual topics separately instead of multiple conflicting ideas on each page. While the color blue is clearly important to the Institute, Blue Ocean should not be limited to blue hues because it


limits their range and creates a predictable environment that does not promote creativity, depth and range. According to Dianne Cyr, she researched the impact of color and determined, “that website color appeal is a significant determinant for website trust and satisfaction with differences noted across cultures” (Cyr, 2010, pg. 1). It is with this in mind that initial the colors used should be thoroughly evaluated to determine the best path forward in establishing Blue Ocean Institute as a premier ocean conservation organization. Preliminary color choices expand across blue hues to green, orange and white. These choices create a range and allow for greater depth and personality for the brand. “Blue is the color of the sky and sea. Green is the color of nature. Orange combines energy or red and the happiness of yellow. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation” (“Color Meaning,” 2013). With the incorporation of orange, it can create a nice opposition and draws the eye. “Orange has a very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design” (“Color Meaning,” 2013). A cluttered website pulls the attention of the reader and does not allow for a clear understanding of each topic. At present, the website has no starting point, no major focus to draw the eye and low usability overall. For the purposes of a website, “usability is the ease with which a user can understand how a product works and how to get it to perform,” (Wilkie, 2012, pg. 2). The website redesign should include a restructuring to improve the usability and promote and improve upon the educational aspects of the website. Imagery is another important factor for Blue Ocean Institute. In fact, photography is important across the industry.

In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words because it allows ocean conservation organizations to show the issues they interact with on a daily basis as opposed to encouraging people to take their word for it. Issues such as overfishing, acidification and climate change are all happening – and simultaneously. Blue Ocean Institute’s use of photography is incorporated throughout the website, including the use of slideshows. Unfortunately, the current photography used on each web page and slideshow, there appears to be no method to photo selection. Photography for each page and purpose must be strategically selected so as to support the content on each page. Photos must also be selected from high quality shots at sights where the Blue Ocean Institute has engaged in research. Images should also be able to support the educational nature of the Institute and provide opportunities to provide information and engage with website users. Typography research has yielded a promising selection for use in body copy was well as use for larger headers. In line with the educational notes throughout the website, Skolar, which originated in the Czech Republic, “has been originally designed with scholarly and multilingual publications in mind” (Typedia.com, 2013). Another promising aspect of this serif type is that it also “has been extended to pan-European character set [and] supports around 90 languages that use Latin, Cyrillic, or Greek scripts” (Typedia, 2013). Its expansion to additional languages will allow the Blue Ocean Institute to create microsites and retain the font for future expansions in those applicable languages. Blue Ocean Institute was active on five continents this past year, and Skolar will allow them to maintain contact and provide valuable information for those markets.

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Research: Key Findings Cont’d It is by employing these tactics that the Blue Ocean Institute can improve their brand and visual identity and lead it to a more productive and functional brand. These strategic decisions will effectively differentiate it from competition and put in on the path to becoming a premier ocean conservation organization. The organization already possesses the character and purpose – it simply needs the polish. It is the lives of future generations who will be the most impacted by the work conducted by the Blue Ocean Institute. Their passion to educate and create stronger relationships between people and the ocean warrants this research and the development of a renewed brand identity. A more deeply-rooted educational format and interactive materials will support greater engagement from adults 1835 and the refined messaging and mission will promote a constant stream of unique visitors to their online platforms. A streamlining of the websites content and allow for more focused topic organization and navigation, website users will be able to access and locate information more easily and quickly. Employing new bold color choices and intellectually designed typography, Blue Ocean Institute can stand out among its competition and become the premier ocean conservation organization it was built to become. Photography should be employed to play on the new design of the website. Strategically used photos with a prominent use of the new website’s primary colors (blue, green and yellow hues), will be based on the latest trends and research in an effort to further promote ongoing conservation activities.


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Target Audience The target audience for the Blue Ocean Institute are adults 18-35. This group represents the individuals and age group that would receive the greatest benefit of ocean conservation education and be of the same mind to support change in marine ecosystems. More than individuals, this group encompasses mothers and fathers who wish to conserve the ocean for their children and future generations.


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Competitors The world’s oceans are experiencing a tumultuous and challenging time with issues such as overfishing, pollution, sonar testing and climate change. Ocean conservation groups across the United States today seek to provide education, and help to influence policy changes to protect the seas. With the same goals in mind, conservation groups across the industry, seek to achieve these goals in different ways including research, education, partnerships, and celebrity endorsements. The Pew Oceans Commission, which included members from ocean conservation groups, issue a report in 2003 (Safina, 2004). Recommendations yielded from this report have helped to guide policy changes and improve the current state and future management of our oceans. Such policy changes including establishing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, as an independent agency with an overall statutory mission (Safina, 2004).

Ocean Foundation

The Ocean Foundation is currently ranked 1st among ocean conservation groups and is the only conservation groups that supports community-based conservation groups in communities around the world who work to support the reversal of the ocean’s destruction.

Oceana

Ocean is currently ranked 2nd among top groups and is the only conservation group that spans three continents to promote science-based campaigns to an interantional audience and advocate fo rthe ocean and find solutions to perceived problems.

Marine Conservation Institute

The Marine Conservation Institute is currently ranked 3rd and works to identify specific ecosystems in danger and investigate the ways to protect them for current and future generations across the globe who is focused on finding sustainable solutions.


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Evolution


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Moodboard Of the three mood boards, this is the most playful without turning the idea of ocean conservation into a joke. While water activities are meant to be fun, those that enjoy those activities or have a regular interaction with the sea are more likely to stand up for ocean conservation. This mood board supports that goal. The bold color choice complement the muted color selections and represent the variety of colors seen in nature. The target audience of adults 18-35 will be able to see the beautiful aspects of the ocean that are worth protecting and preserving for future generations with a fresh design concept and fun format that is not addressed by direct competition.


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Toolbox


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Logo Development Water and specifically, the ocean, remained a key part of redesigning the logo. It was necessary for the logo to include the bold new color palette and needed to work regardless of the design - this would serve as the key to differentiating the new design for both the logo and overall campaign from Blue Ocean Institute’s competition. Many of the versions sketches would have worked with the new and versatile color palette. The buoy design was the frontrunner and was inevitably chosen as the way forward. Often used in scientific research and markers, the buoy is not well/overused and could come to represent a beacon for awareness of what’s happening in the ocean. This would also work well in animation with a subtle swaying and a bell sound. “


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Style

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Style Guide: Logo Water and specifically, the ocean, remained a key part of redesigning the logo. It was necessary for the logo to include the bold new color palette and needed to work regardless of the design - this would serve as the key to differentiating the new design for both the logo and overall campaign from Blue Ocean Institute’s competition. The buoy design reflects the science behind what Blue Ocean Institute’s activities in contributing to conservation. Often used in scientific research and markers, the buoy is not well/overused and could come to represent a beacon for awareness of what’s happening in the ocean.

Full Color (Vertical)

Black/White (Vertical)

Full Color (Horizontal)

Transparent (Vertical)


Improper Logo Use

Warp - Slant

Warp - Slant

Bevel or Emboss

Warp - Slant

Drop Shadow

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Style Guide: Colors The primary and secondary colors are bold choices and add a fresh perspective to this ocean conservation organization. The palette is somewhat traditional but when used in conjunction with the other design elements, differentiate the Blue Ocean Institute. The blue hues represent an ever changing ocean and the bright yellow-orange signifies the many different colors found in marine ecosystems.

R: 0 G: 58 B: 112 C: 100 M: 85 Y: 30 K: 16 #003A70

R: 209 G: 221 B: 235 C: 16 M: 8 Y: 3 K: 0 #D1DDEB

R: 129 G: 145 B: 178 C: 53 M: 38 Y: 16 K: 0 #8191B2

R: 236 G: 170 B: 0 C: 7 M: 35 Y: 100 K: 0 #ECAA00

R: 61 G: 173 B: 157 C: 72 M: 9 Y: 46 K: 0 #3DAD9D


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Style Guide: Textures The textures in this campaign hint at the real thing - the ocean. Be it the waves, the color, or the spray, these textures are varied but represent what can be experienced from a personal level. Supporting the images, content, and other design aspects of the campaign, these textures help to pull the entire campaign together as one cohesive design.


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Style Guide: Images The imagery will be a major feature of the rebrand. It is the images we take with our cameras and hold in our hearts and memories that establish that connection with the ocean. With this in mind, I choose images that showcase the diversity of the water, marine life and interaction that humans have with the sea - while avoiding negative images that will only detract from the beautiful and wonderful blue life that requires our attention and protection.


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Style Guide: Typography The typography allows for a mix of professional and legibility of Helvetica Neue and Devanagari Sangum NM with the casual and individuality of Wassup. This mix makes it possible for Blue Ocean Institute to present itself as a professional organization that still lets end users see themselves in the pages of the website and print collateral. The voice is friendly, engaging and educational.


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Final Designs


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Social Media

Instagram

Among top image sharing apps, Instagram will serve as one of the main methods to showcase the beautiful aspects of the Institute’s acitivites.

Facebook

Regular postings about the current state of our oceans, beautiful imagery, unknown or lesser known facts, personal stories, tips for helping the oceans and overall environment, and opportunities to participate.


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Twitter

Similar in content to what is posed to Facebook, there will be regular postings with beautiful imagery, unknown or lesser known facts, tips for helping the oceans and engagement with like-minded organizations who are committed to ocean conservation to participate.

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Mobile Application The Blue Ocean Institute’s mobile application will serve as a simplified mobile website. It will include the fundamental aspects from the website including a photo gallery, educational information, both text and video, and ways to connect with the Institute, participate in activities and donate to the cause.


Product Placement In addition to difgital platforms, the logo will be used on both recyclable and certified ocean-friendly products. This will help improve brand awareness and establish the buoy logo as a call-to-action.

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Website

A website redesign is crucial to uniting all of the other assets together and bring consistency and a cohesiveness that the brand is currently lacking. Without the simplicity, good design and intuitive navigation that successful websites employ (Sharpened, 2012), the website will continue to sit idly.


Advertisements

Online banner ads will reflect the look and feel of the campaign and will serve as the beacon for connection across ocean and environmental conservation groups. Targeted placement on like-minded organizations as well as social media outlets, news and blogs, and search engines will propel the Institute a step above the competition and establish it as the connective body. Short and straightforward text will be used and will also feature the same level of powerful imagery used on the website, mobile application and social media sites.

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References


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References 2013 Annual Report: Blue Ocean Institute 10th Anniversary Edition. (2013). BlueOcean.org. Retrieved October 15, 2013 from: http://1zvetj2j0pbd1i0wvfhcvra177f.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/BOI_2013-Annual-Report-2.pdf. Blue Ocean Institute. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.blueocean.org. Color Wheel Pro. (2013). Color Meaning. Retrieved from http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html. Charity Navigator. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.charitynavigator.org. Cyr, D. (2010). Colour appeal in website design within and across cultures: A multi-method evaluation. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 2010, 68(1/2), 1-21. Oceana. (2013). CharityNavigator.org. Retrieved on December 3, 2013 from: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=8545#.UqexIaUqUds. Oceana. (2013). Annual Meeting & Financials. Retrieved on December 3, 2013 from: http://oceana.org/ en/about-us/annual-meeting-financials. The Ocean Foundation. (2013). CharityNavigator.org. Retrieved on December 3, 2013 from:http://www. charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12350#.UqewwKUqUds. Safina, C. & Chasis, S. (2004). Saving the Oceans. Issues in Science & Technology, 21(1), 37-54. Sharpened Productions. (2012, June 13). 10 Rules of Web Design. Retrieved from http://sharpened. com/web_design_rules. Typedia.com (2013). Skolar. Retrieved on December 20, 2013 from http://typedia.com/explore/typeface/skolar/. Wilkie, L. (2012). Website Usability: Reasons Underlying Emotions Reported by Users. Insights to a Changing World Journal, 2012(2), 133-156.


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Blue Ocean Institute www.blueocean.org

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