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A group of young children sitting at a dock

The Couch Family Foundation

Project Duration: October 2018 – March 2019
Studio Services: Branding // Print Design // Website Design

Being in the non-profit scene of New England, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t heard of Richard and Barbara Couch. For 30+ years, the Couch Family Foundation has been giving its all towards partnering with like-minded organizations on initiatives to improve life for children and families in the Upper Valley region of New England.

In 2018, the Foundation, alongside Mott Philanthropic, began its search for a new website design that would help give them more visibility amongst younger audiences, highlight their accomplishments throughout the years, and further communicate their mission and values. In addition, they were also in need of a new logo. From the first engagement, it was clear to us that we would be able to create a new brand and website that would captivate new grantees, reinvigorate current members, and establish rapport with policy makers and other advocates.

A Hispanic family walking along the water on a sunny afternoon
A father holding his baby daughter in a scenic landscape

BRAND IDENTITY

In our starting conversations, the Couch Family Foundation and Mott Philanthropic teams voiced a desire to retain the ivy metaphor in their branding. The ivy is representative of the Upper New England Valley; where they’re based and where they also do most of their work. The chosen mark is simple in its design, with the ivy plants front and center. The middle ivy plant being slightly taller than the flanking ivy, it creates a metaphor of nurturing—speaking towards the work they do for early childhood development and families. Typography was kept to neutral sans-serifs for a clean, modern look that was legible on all devices while rooted in history, whereas colors were kept to a small, monochromatic palette of greens for maximum brand impact.

Various logo sketches for The Couch Family Foundation rebrand
Old logos for The Couch Family Foundation
The new logo for The Couch Family Foundation, with the mark at the bottom
The new logomark for The Couch Family Foundation in full color
A horizontal variation of the new logo for The Couch Family Foundation
Business stationery and a coffee mug with the new branding for The Couch Family Foundation
A business card for The Couch Family Foundation being held
A young African American woman with a totebag from The Couch Family Foundation

WEBSITE DESIGN

With the goals of reaching a younger audience and making it easier for organizations to submit grant applications, it was clear we needed to completely redesign the entire user experience of the website. A collaborative sitemap exercise allowed us to construct a proper content flow for the Mott Philanthropic team to follow, while also establishing the inherent functionality of the website. This resulted in a more streamlined UX (user experience) that made the grant submission

experience and brand experience even easier and more immersive. Because the Mott Philanthropic team was smaller, they required the website to be built on a platform that would be easy for anyone to update content. The Squarespace platform was our weapon of choice for exactly that, and with the new UX in place, the website was built fairly quickly; fully responsive and beautifully designed.

A young man viewing the website of The Couch Family Foundation on desktop and mobile devices
Two parents with their daughter on a tricycle
"Working with Santoro Design on the logo refresh and website project was a great collaborative experience. Chris was committed to understanding the Foundation’s vision for the project, and he was always patient and good natured despite several process delays on our end. We are thrilled with the final product, and the community agrees—we have received a lot of positive feedback that the website is clear in its communication and easy to use." Brooke Couch Freeland, Managing Director, Couch Family Foundation

CONCLUSION

Since its launch back in May of 2019, site traffic has since doubled with more people able to find them through direct search and social platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIN. The Couch Family Foundation board and its staff fully embraced the new brand identity and have since gone back to doing what they do best: making a difference to New England’s families. We couldn’t be more proud of them for trusting their legacy to us, and we’re thankful to them and Mott Philanthropic for working with us.

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