Washington Trails Association
A brand refresh to play up WTA's PNW identity.
10 weeks, Spring 2019
Visual Communication, MHCI+D Program
Sketch, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign
Washington Trails Association (WTA) is a popular local hiking guide website and nonprofit whose mission is to protect the hiking trails of Washington State as well as inspire, engage, and educate hikers.
While the content on their site is informative and helpful, the branding is generic and doesn't fully lean into their unique PNW identity.
I also wanted to give the content-heavy site some breathing room. I also reorganized the information within the route pages to pull up more important information to the top of the page.
Website - Homepage
Website - Route Planning
I created a mood board to capture the feelings I wanted the WTA brand to evoke: adventurous, mysterious, and distinctively Washington.
I tried out two separate grid system options for the initial wireframes and started to think about how I wanted the structure of the site to "feel." Later, when I went to put content in, both structures came to feel quite limiting and crowded, so while I ended up with features of both initial wireframes, the final wireframes came in with much more whitespace.
I also went about rearranging the page structure for route pages. A lot of important information that would immediately disqualify people from wanting to do a hike (e.g. no dogs allowed), was buried throughout the page so I wanted to elevate key route details and bring them to the top of the page.
In the quest to best evoke the feeling of being enveloped in the foggy evergreen forests of the PNW, I eventually landed on my first typeface Lydian. One may recognize it from the Nancy Drew novel covers.
Because of the complexity of trail route information I knew I would need a versatile san serif type family, and landed on Avenir.
Coming back to the theme of the Pacific Northwest, I wanted the iconic Washington evergreen tree to be part of the logo. With the website's focus on wayfinding, the idea of merging a compass and a (northwest pointing) tree as the dial emerged.
I originally hoped to keep the color palette pretty dark, but once mocking up my first higher fidelity wireframe, it became apparent that it hindered the readability of the site. I kept the footer and header dark but decided to actually open up the content rich pages and keep them light.
Overall, I kept the color palette minimal to keep the focus on the content and imagery. I liked the unexpectedness of the lilac, not a "normal" outdoor brand color.