Flying 4 Conservation, Two Pilots Take on the World

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Website Design • Branding/Logo Design • Social Media Integration is an exciting non-profit adventure I literally flung my heart into on very short notice in early May of 2012. At the time of this writing, two brave pilots and their small propeller plane–one that is normally used for touring the African bush–have yet to take off on their transcontinental journey.

The project is just that new, set to begin in less than a week on June 12, 2012. Flying4Conservation is a flight of hope and imagination. The pilots goal: to raise money to save the unprotected Kenyan wilderness.

With a turn-around of only 10 days for both a web site and a logo, choosing a premium template was an obvious decision, but with the goal of easily implemented storytelling, which one?

One of magic cards I have hidden up my sleeve is a in-depth understanding of premium WordPress themes–how to customize and transform an off-brand, generic design into an end product that looks like a custom job. Using a template can save thousands of dollars in development costs, but there’s nothing “cheap” about the coding or the design expertise that goes into personalizing them. There are myriad themes available but it is imperative to go beyond the outside decoration and really know and understand the company who has authored it. Some offer unbelievable support and documentation, while others simply don’t. Every month I partition time aside just to review the latest designs so I know which ones can be customized into an end product that looks very little like the original off-the-shelf model. Since this Washington, DC-based video client had precious little time to be digging through copious options I presented just two and, as expected, hit the ball out of the park with this engaging layout.

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With the theme choice sealed, the client took on the task of tracking down high-quality photographs taken on previous journeys by the pilots for the homepage and gallery sections, while I set to work on creating a brand. A crisp and simple sans-serif font was used and the red-orange stripe of the plane is picked up and shared by the numeral “4.” All that was left was to place the logo atop a clear blue sky, mirroring the plane itself, or possibly a cloud witnessing the pilots’ journey.

As you can see above, we really fleshed out the site with the integration of social media widgets, tags and sponsor links in the sidebar. The pilots will be tweeting, posting articles in the blog and sharing on Facebook every day of the journey, so it’s imperative feeds from both sites are easy to view. The main goal of the site is to acquire donations and sponsors, and I continue to add the logos of companies who are offering financial and support services for the journey in the footer area.

It is my sincerest hope you will visit the site and consider making a donation. I offered both the branding and development services at a non-profit discount because I’ve worked with this client for several years now and I trust them. I’m very willing to offer support to renewable energy and conservation efforts that benefit this beautiful planet we’re given a fleeting chance to walk upon.

If you are interested in discussing a web site redesign for your non-profit, please do not hesitate to contact us. This the kind of project we love to fling ourselves into because they make everyone feel wonderful!

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