On the Edge Rebrand Brings the Outside Into the Digital Realm

Posted inBranding & Identity Design

Working to change the narrative for nature, On The Edge is an educational organization that works to connect people with the natural world emotionally. The organization recently worked with the creative agency How&How to create a branding system that would speak to the Gen Z audience while still being relatable to scientists. The result is a bright color palette, a robust grid system, and typography that is simultaneously playful and minimalistic. Not only will the branding system intrigue a younger audience, but it will inspire people of all ages to learn how they can help reconnect humans with the world they live in

Human. Nature. You’d think the two would get along, but we’re living in the middle of a mass extinction event and are too disconnected from nature to notice. This is the problem conservation charity On the Edge are solving in a novel way. Through the creation, iteration and measurement of scientific programs, online games and nature documentaries focused on critically endangered species; they are an experimental nature studio increasing the biodiversity of the planet… as well as the internet.

By deploying online experiments that promote the offline world, they are internet’s nature advocates driving change from the inside. Their premise is unconventional, yet disruptive — aimed at forging a reconnection with nature by manipulating digital tools and techniques in order to shake up the narrative.

On the Edge approached How&How for brand identity, website design and Headless CMS website build… all to be done in 8 weeks. The new brand needed to speak to On the Edge’s Gen Z target audience, without alienating the scientists that make up 50% of the company. Bravely unconventional, technologically savvy and relentlessly experimental; these ‘internet outsiders’ are intent on bringing the outside into the digital realm.

“Our design system therefore used glass panels and literal ‘edges’ to represent the blurred interface between our online screens and the outside world,” explains How&How co-founder and creative director, Cat How. “Sometimes these appear with more clarity, in others they distort into noise and oblivion. Or extinction.”

TWK Everett by type foundry Weltkern, was chosen for its sharp cuts and edges, and paired with Simplon Mono by Swiss Typefaces for an academic touch.

On the Edge’s icon was inspired by the patterns on endangered tree frogs, whose markings look like letterforms and characters. “By ‘reading’ an animal in a typographic way, we wanted to reinforce the communication and dialogue needed between humans and nature,” explains Cat. 

A colour palette (inspired by bioluminescence which is nature’s own self-defence and conservation technique) was paired with a strong grid, neon accents and minimal aesthetic in order to counter the huge amount of colourful, zany content that OTE produce.

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