Urban Roots is a local gardening cooperative located on Buffalo’s West Side that sells indigenous and heirloom plants, teaches workshops and sells various gardening tools and gifts throughout the year. Unlike most gardening supply stores, Urban Roots is owned by its members and is open year round.
OtherWisz Creative’s work with Urban Roots began with our Brand Audit. Through this process, we gather information through a series of questionnaires and interviews to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the business, gain an understanding of how they are perceived within the community and see how they compare to competition. The audit found the previous name ‘Urban Roots, Community Garden Center’ and their tagline ‘Where Buffalo Gardens’ to be confusing and not indicative of their actual services and offerings. In our Marketing Recommendations, OtherWisz suggested an update to their name and visual identity.
The first issue we tackled was the name; how do we clarify that Urban Roots is not a community garden, but instead it is a community owned and operated gardening supply store? Several meetings were held with our design team and Urban Roots in order to brainstorm and elaborate upon the qualities that distinguish it as an individually unique business. We decided upon the name ‘Urban Roots, Cooperative Garden Market’ and the tagline: ‘Helping Buffalo Gardeners Grow.’ These changes reflect the business’s diverse range of offerings, that it is owned by the community, and a large part of its job is educational in nature. They are the trusted gardening experts in the City of Buffalo, no BS.
After clarifying the name we began to work on updating their visual brand. It started with the strong desire to adjust the funky, but naïve, typography to something that suggested the maturity of the business and their wealth of knowledge while still being amicable and down to earth. The chosen typeface for the business name is unique and whimsical with its plant-like forms. The qualifier is set in a sans serif font for the sake of clear communication.
Urban Roots is open all year round, so the final touches to the brand were the development of a flexible color system that is able to change throughout the seasons. Reflecting the four seasons, the colors help people understand immediately that you could find helpful service, unique gifts, and plants at any time of the year.