Wolff Olins completes a major brand refresh for New York’s world-famous Botanical Gardens

Wolff Olins completes a major brand refresh for New York’s world-famous Botanical Gardens

The iconic New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) has unveiled its first major brand update in more than a decade in partnership with global branding consultancy Wolff Olins.

One of New York’s premier science destinations, NYBG is a globally significant 132-year-old institution rooted in research and education, with a strategic focus on deepening local community relationships and expanding environmental work around the world.

NYBG chose Wolff Olins to develop the brand to reflect this vision while honoring the rich history of the gardens, which have served as a center for nature and science in the heart of the Bronx since 1891, with 250 acres of immersive botanical exhibits and experiences, art, music and events with some of the most influential figures in plant science. And mycology, horticulture and humanities.

As a starting point for the foundation’s packaging, the agency created a unique brand idea: “Do what’s right by nature” – a reference to studying, protecting, learning from and enjoying nature. A call to action, highlighting NYBG’s pioneering work and recognizing the active role of nature itself.

Creating a new tone of voice for the brand focusing on the tone and style of New York and the Bronx. Designed around an optimistic, empathetic and intentional brand personality, it is designed to help NYBG share its infectious enthusiasm for the natural world, make everyone feel welcome and lead with experience.

This includes a new, hand-drawn logo that emphasizes the shorter, bolder NYBG acronym. To unite the spirit of New York City and the natural beauty of the park, the typography nods to the hand-drawn shapes found in nature while also evoking a confidence that speaks to the organization’s impact.

“All of us at Wolff Olins are honored to work with an iconic brand like The New York Botanical Garden,” explains Jane Boynton, senior creative director at Wolff Olins. “We wanted to capture what people already know about this beloved institution – a place of incredible natural beauty – but also a place of science.” “Research, horticultural advancement, conservation, education, advocacy, art and outreach to the surrounding Bronx community. These qualities are what make NYBG so special, rich and different and what really shines through in the refreshed brand, ready to meet and greet today’s visitors.”

NYBG’s updated design system includes a complex palette of colors inspired by the breadth of plants, trees, fungi, mosses and even the Bronx River that runs through the gardens, as well as the bold vibrancy of other iconic New York institutions. The system is designed to be combined with flexibility and tools that allow the creation of beautiful contrasts from even the most unexpected pairings.

A photographic style based on the idea of ​​seeing through nature’s perspective has also been created with shots that range from intimate to immersive, capturing different themes of plants, people and places that tell the historical story of NYBG.

Wolf Olins also created a graphic language based on the forms of the garden itself – but from a bird’s eye view – organic forms that can be cut, drawn or layered over a grid inspired by the glass panels familiar from the famous Enid A. Haupt. musical Institute.

“Wolf Olins has helped the entire team here at NYBG articulate our vision for the future more clearly, and this in turn will allow the organization to more effectively reach a broader and more diverse group of visitors and learners, both on-site and online. The new identity system adds to NYBG’s presence as an active and bold presence.” And a welcome that will connect and inspire, ensuring that current and future generations of park-goers feel connected to nature – because we can’t imagine a life without that feeling,” said Michael Crowley, Chief Marketing Officer, NYBG.

Sarah Ashman, Global CEO of Wolff Olins, describes the work as “a dream transformation for the brand”, adding: “The role of parks in our cities has never been more important to our well-being or more ripe for re-evaluation.

The Bronx, home to more than 1.5 million people, is New York’s greenest borough, with parks covering nearly a quarter of the land area there. NYBG attracts more than one million visitors annually.

“Our new brand identity is a signal to the world that NYBG is fully engaged in the work of addressing the dual crises of climate and biodiversity as we continue to deliver moments of joy, comfort, and wonder to visitors and learners across our park lands and community sites in the Bronx,” concluded Jennifer Bernstein, CEO of NYBG. Our new brand aims to inspire people to take action and help nature thrive so that humanity can thrive.

“At NYBG, we believe we can make things better and are excited about our new, upbeat brand to more comprehensively engage the public in our organization’s work across our region and around the world.”

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