case study:

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission

Sharing the Collaborative Offerings of an Organization—Through a Collaborative Design Partnership.

The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission is a public, nonprofit organization committed to assisting the Merrimack Valley’s regional communities. For over 60 years, MVPC has collaborated with fifteen communities in planning, growth, and resources, developing economically and regionally, and promoting community collaboration for the overall welfare and prosperity of the Valley’s citizens.

I first started working with MVPC in 2018 when I was brought on to work on their 2017 Annual Report. Together, we worked to create a message and design direction to resonate with stakeholders and member communities. Our goal was to make the report clean, crisp, and accessible—highlighting the successes and collaboration that the organization was known for. After understanding the executive director’s vision, in partnership with a writer, three options for concepts and messaging were presented. MVPC was so pleased with this new direction—and the process of working together—that our relationship continued. In 2019, I was asked again to create the annual report for 2018. This year’s message focused on highlighting the successes that the various communities accomplished. Interviews were conducted, and we worked with a local photographer to tell the stories of those involved. Below are the two reports. To see the full interactive layout, click on the image.

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission 2017 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission 2018 Annual Report

2018 Annual Report

Rebranding of an Established organization in celebration of their 60th year

During the 2018 Annual Report project, I had the opportunity to submit an RFP for the rebranding and website for MVPC. Due to our excellent working relationship, JFG Visual Communications was selected. The first focus was on the development of the brand identity. Through a detailed discovery process, I helped everyone at the organization figure out their shared goals. I met with the team and guided them through a questionnaire, identity exercises, research, color studies, and used mood boards to unify the team’s vision and goals. Collaboratively, we decided that everything about the new brand needed to:

  • Have a fresh, modern, authentic look.
  • Speak to both residents and leadership of communities.
  • Feel collaborative and accessible—not dry or too governmental.
  • Respect and reflect their rich history of involvement and achievements.
  • Be appealing to all board members and stakeholders.
MVPC Logo JFG Visual Communications

Branding that respects the organization’s history

Through all of the logo’s progressions over the years, the river has always been inferred. I wanted to respect this element and provide a nod to where the logo started many years ago, yet make it feel fresh, contemporary, current and accessible. Since this was a major rebranding, it was important to consider the logo’s usage. Not only would the logo be on the stationary, it was also going to be used for interior and exterior signage, event materials, their website, future digital marketing efforts, their annual reports and for every piece of collateral going forward. The logo also needed to be adapted for the recognition of the 60th year celebration.

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Stationary Set

MVPC Stationary Set

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Pocketfolder

MVPC Pocketfolder

MVPC Samples JFG Visual Communications

Logo Usage Examples

MVPC Logo JFG Visual Communications

MVPC Responsive Logo Variations

MVPC Logo JFG Visual Communications
MVPC Logo JFG Visual Communications

Logo Versitility and Adaptability

MVPC Logo JFG Visual Communications
MVPC Samples JFG Visual Communications

60th Anniversary Logo in Use

A website that is modern, functional and engaging

Our top priority was to create a site that was functional, approachable, and informative while finding the right balance for all the information. The site needed to be simple, clean, and usable. The messaging needed to clarify how the organization helps the member communities. I developed a creative brief that highlighted the research findings of comparable organizations, what the challenges were, and how we would set forth to solve them. The creative brief also included color explorations, design inspiration, and photography recommendations. Please see below a portion of the items presented.

Creating a Website with ease of use and Searchable functionality

MVPC’s previous site had become a collection of resources integrated over many pages and sections of the website. For the user, it was challenging to find specific documents without a lot of digging. As part of the assignment, a thorough audit of the previous site was conducted. I started by reorganizing each area and simplifying the navigation to highlight the four central departments. Due to the number of documents and resources, a robust search feature was developed to centralize the content into one location. In addition, this resource section became the location of data and demographics as well as interactive maps. As you will see below, the site is easy to navigate while displaying the information in a very user-friendly way.

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Website Home Page

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Home Page

When navigating a big rebrand and website design, it can be a hectic time. My job is not only to provide a great outcome but also to make every step stress-free along the way! Through internal collaboration—and by gaining a deep understanding of their audience’s needs—I was honored to provide MVPC with an authentic look and feel that fosters collaboration among its communities and helps its residents flourish. Are you looking for a quality design partner to rebrand your association? Let JFG Visual Communications assist you in creating a brand that is unique to you.

Client Praise

Jillfrances/JFG Visual Communications was the perfect fit for our agency, and my team and I knew it the moment we met with her. She is laid-back and accommodating, yet firm and resolute in her professional opinion. I was so pleased with how well we worked together – from the bigger, 30,000-foot issues to the finer details – and how she was able to create a completely new look and feel for our organization. We collaborated well and enjoyed great communication throughout the process.

Karen Sawyer Conard, Former Executive Director, Merrimack Valley Planning Commission

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