Updated: May 2, 2022
At Darling we say, “we believe in working with brands we believe in.” It’s one of the main reasons I was drawn to the team.
One day we’re brainstorming concepts for pizza boxes, the next we’re talking about chicken gut health. But no matter the topic, all of the brands we work with have a distinct and admirable mission, which makes projects more fun and partnerships all the more meaningful.
Which brings me to talking about 3 projects we recently wrapped up for 3 brands we believe in—deeply. Each of these nonprofits had a common goal in mind: make information and resources more accessible to the communities they serve. Together, we made it possible.
The Uplift Connection: an initiative seeking to connect organizations across Missouri making strides in women and infant health. We helped launch the brand, from name to website.
Project FORECAST: a training program teaching students and working professionals alike the skills needed in situations involving childhood trauma. Their team benefited from new promotional materials, a video production and an informative web-interface.
And lastly, the APA Adoption Center: a nonprofit animal adoption, education and welfare organization. We joined forces to create a warm, inviting look for their website plus a more intuitive user experience.
All 3 of these nonprofits were at different stages when we began our relationships. And regardless of whether they needed a name and a logo or they had been around since 1922, it was fun to learn their stories and build on their missions.
We started from scratch with The Uplift Connection, or previously known as the Women and Infant Health Network. They were on a mission to solve a problem in the local health community, and we were thrilled to be tapped at brand inception.
In its essence, The Uplift Connection seeks to address the missing link between numerous organizations working independently toward a common goal: the improvement and advancement of women’s and infant health in Missouri. In an effort to fill the statewide gap that exists around collaboration of these efforts, The Uplift Connection was born.
This was a brief-to-life project. We created strong messaging around a name, logo, brand, and online platform. From logo to website, The Uplift Connection promotes collaboration, links regional work efforts to other women and infant health stakeholders throughout the state, and fosters an inclusive community rooted in meaningful conversation.
Project FORECAST on the other hand is a program offered by University of Missouri-St. Louis. They were already making strides in their space before we came onboard, so we jumped in where they left off.
FORECAST is an interactive training program designed to help current and future child-serving professionals make better decisions in situations involving childhood trauma. Their trainings simulate real-world scenarios and can better prepare participants for the complex challenges they could face in their profession.
These simulations speak to a diverse group of disciplines from law enforcement to education, and classes include current working professionals and college level learners preparing to enter the field. To speak to this wide audience, we helped rewrite promotional materials, produced interviews with subject matter experts, and built a website that both inspires and informs. With features like an interactive map to find simulation facilitators near you, or an online password protected student portal of educational resources, the website is now a great representation of what prospective students can expect from trainings and a landing page for current participants to access valuable learning materials.
And finally, the APA Adoption Center—a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing people and pets together. With 98 years under their belt, they are an established, well-known name in the area and continue to make strides in community outreach and animal welfare. We were excited to dig in and come along for the ride in this next chapter, refreshing one of their biggest—and increasingly important—brand touch points, their website.
An ever-growing resource offering called for more than a simple “website refresh.” The new website needed to reflect the APA’s brand evolution and called for a navigational restructuring to organize their content in a more intuitive and user-friendly flow.
A new look meant a full day shoot with our friends at Bruton Stroube, capturing photos and videos of pet owners and their APA-adopted family members. The result: a suite of joyful imagery with a sense of companionship, veering from the all-too-familiar shelter “cry for support” aesthetic. It is the ultimate representation of people and pets bringing out the best in each other, and you’ll see it on every page of their newly designed site.
As the APA grew as an organization, so did their website. They offer more than just adoption—with accessible spay and neuter operations, classroom initiatives, senior services, an on-site clinic and more, the site outgrew its previously set boundaries. So, we stripped down the content to the wireframing stage, suggesting new content buckets and navigation organization. Once everything was accounted for, we began writing and design. Navigation was streamlined, content grouped and a hierarchy established. We also built unique contact forms to funnel communication to the appropriate departments within the organization and a new, constantly updating "Adoptable Pets" platform to help you find your new best friend faster.
The outcome? An enhanced user experience, a modern design optimized for all devices and simplified site maintenance for APA staff. Oh, and helping us get back to the main reason we did it all in the first place: make it even easier to bring people and pets together.
Three different brands doing three different projects, all needing our help at different stages. Each doing spectacular things that we just so happen to wholeheartedly root for.
I anticipate the next project that comes through our door will have a unique purpose. And when we learn more about it and dive in, we’ll believe in the work we are doing together. Because working with brands we believe in is all in a day's work here at Darling HQ.