Save the Bay Graphics

a project by V. Cline

For Project Activate, I focused on the issue of environmental degradation concerning the wildlife native to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Greatly inspired by the mission and conservation efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), I wanted to create something that highlighted the Bay’s animal residents, specifically those that are endangered or threatened due to human interference and impact. As a result, I decided to design a series of educational posters and collateral that would increase public awareness of this issue and the organization.  

            From the beginning, I had a pretty clear idea on the design of the poster. I decided on a predominantly blue color palette to reference the watershed, which ties the different species across the posters together. Additionally, I used an organic, rough texture to not only provide visual interest and dimension to the poster, but also as a reference to nature. Each poster displays the silhouette of a threatened/endangered species with the CBF’s signature motto “Save the Bay” meshed over top. At the bottom, I included a brief summary describing the animal, its connection to the Chesapeake Bay, and the threats to their habitats and health. To obtain and effectively relay this information, I researched information on the animals through the CBF’s field guide and various wildlife conservation sites. Not wanting the imagery in the poster to be dominated by text, I wrote summaries that were succinct and easily digestible for the viewer. I originally planned to include the population size in the description. Unfortunately, such information was not available, so I decided to instead provide the status of the species (i.e., endangered or threatened). This worked out for the better as such information will resonate more with the general public than an arbitrary number. For the poster’s designI decided to use bold, high-contrast fonts and graphical style to immediately draw the viewer’s eye. After being drawn in by the imagery, the viewer naturally continues down the poster to the text, where they are provided a quick summary on the species and its threats. This information serves to inspire action from the viewer (either through donations or volunteering at CBF or even reducing one’s environmental impact). 

            From the beginning, I had a pretty clear idea on the design of the poster. I decided on a predominantly blue color palette to reference the watershed, which ties the different species across the posters together. Additionally, I used an organic, rough texture to not only provide visual interest and dimension to the poster, but also as a reference to nature. Each poster displays the silhouette of a threatened/endangered species with the CBF’s signature motto “Save the Bay” meshed over top. At the bottom, I included a brief summary describing the animal, its connection to the Chesapeake Bay, and the threats to their habitats and health. To obtain and effectively relay this information, I researched information on the animals through the CBF’s field guide and various wildlife conservation sites. Not wanting the imagery in the poster to be dominated by text, I wrote summaries that were succinct and easily digestible for the viewer. I originally planned to include the population size in the description. Unfortunately, such information was not available, so I decided to instead provide the status of the species (i.e., endangered or threatened). This worked out for the better as such information will resonate more with the general public than an arbitrary number. For the poster’s designI decided to use bold, high-contrast fonts and graphical style to immediately draw the viewer’s eye. After being drawn in by the imagery, the viewer naturally continues down the poster to the text, where they are provided a quick summary on the species and its threats. This information serves to inspire action from the viewer (either through donations or volunteering at CBF or even reducing one’s environmental impact). 

            Since the success of the design is heavily dependent on the silhouettes, I knew I had to choose animals with discernable shapes. Additionally, the shapes needed to be wide enough to overlay CBF’s motto. After combing through the CBF’s wildlife database, I decided on the Atlantic Sturgeon, Eastern Black Rail, and Loggerhead Turtle. Each animal has an outline that would be recognizable to the average viewer and allowed enough space for the type treatment. As the design of these posters relied heavily on the silhouettes, I carefully selected reference images that would display the animal in their natural habitat. Seeing these posters as a chance to expand into a full campaign, I also created ephemera featuring the same silhouetted design. Looking at the merchandise sold on CBF’s online store, I decided to place the designs on a t-shirt, pin, and beach towel. These items could be sold through their online store or directly at volunteer events for individuals to proudly showcase their participation. Distributing these items further promotes CBF’s brand awareness while also creating a shared sense of purpose and community through physical souvenirs that keep participants engaged.    

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