Educational non-profit focused on Iowa agriculture
CampSilos is an educational online division of Silos and Smokestacks. When they approached us about potentially working together, their once award-winning website had around 250 broken links, outdated graphics, and no central message. Over several months we worked with them to identify their main audiences, craft them a consistent message, update their logo, and build them an engaging, educational site that has been a delight for all the students, teachers, and parents who have gotten to use it.
When we first began working with CampSilos, they had a huge website with tons of information–but the message behind why it was all important was buried. We believe that the message is the foundation around which all other creative marketing endeavors should be built. With that in mind, the first thing we did in this project was talk with the CampSilos team to come up with a message that reflected their mission, that would also resonate with their primary audiences: students, teachers, and historians. This was compiled into a Messaging Guide–a booklet of essential messaging elements that can be used for all kinds of future communications–and it was also translated into homepage copy to draw people through everything they need to know before exploring the site.
CampSilos had an interesting branding challenge for us. Not only did they want to update their primary logo, but they also wanted to be able to differentiate between CampSilos proper, and the individual modules that lived on the site. There were four: Exploring the Prairie, Pioneer Farming, The Story of Corn, and Farming Today and Tomorrow. We worked with the CampSilos staff to better understand what a person would be learning in each of those modules, and came up with a logo to represent it all. After that, it was a matter of choosing typography and a color palette that reflected the natural nature of their subject matter while also remaining engaging to their primary audience, which is younger learners.
Before jumping into website design and development, it was imperative that the site be restructured. With so many broken links, the current site was sending its visitors to dead ends. Working directly with the CampSilos team, we identified which broken links needed redirects and which needed to be removed entirely. Next, we moved into design. Based on the branding they’d approved, we decided that a clean, animated look would be best for their audience, and jumped into designing a site that was well organized, easy to navigate, with engaging microanimations that brought it to life.