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Mark

Copyright 2017

Living Water International Brand Refresh

Living Water International 2015 Annual Review Brands are people, too. They evolve over time. They mature....

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Living Water International 2015

Annual Review

Brands are people, too. They evolve over time. They mature. They modernize. When Living Water asked me to begin work on the 2015 Annual Review and the companion brochure piece, I saw an opportunity to refresh the brand.

I started with typography. Previously, Living Water employed Univers and Whitman. Two typefaces I love and pair well together. However, I wanted to give the brand a bolder look. I turned to Gotham and Eames for this. These are two HUGE type families with various weights and alternates to choose from so there’s a ton of flexibility here.

From here I really dived into the idea of mixing white space with grit. Living Water began when affluent American business men and women decided to get their hands dirty and do something about the water crisis in Africa. 25+ years later, they’re still at it. So it made sense to me to create a clean look and get it a little dirty.

I created brush strokes and pencil strokes with real brushes and actual paint and pencils, something most designers lean on premade stock elements for.

What emerged is unique and beautiful and a perfect fit for the 25+-year-old organization.


Brands are people, too. To breath life into a brand you have to discover its personality.


The Annual Review is a 48 page, perfect bound booklet. It tells the macro-story of Living Water and its 25+ years of existence through the telling of micro-stories from the previous year. It’s more than a book about financial accountability, though that’s in there, too. Every word, every number, every infographic and icon was hand-crafted to immerse donors into the world of thirsty people around the world and to provide them an opportunity to be part of the solution.

All of the hand-drawn elements in this book are just that, hand-drawn with real paint, pencil and ink.

From the Annual Review, we moved onto a companion brochure. Brochures tend to look like brochures — business envelope sized, accordion folded, semi-glossy documents designed to sell you something. The size and the paper choice are practical for distribution and cost reasons.

Instead of showing our audience every terrible stat on the water crisis we focused instead on one person’s story — Alex. Alex is in high school. His father works in another town so Alex is the man of the house. Without access to clean water, Alex would spend considerable time collecting water from rivers and contaminated hand dug wells. With clean water in his community, he can focus on two things — school and his brick-making business. Brick-making brings in the extra income needed to put his siblings through school.

Each panel of the interior of the brochure tells this story. We used a roll fold instead of an accordion fold. As you open the brochure, the next panel is revealed telling more and more of Alex’s story. The back of the brochure gives each of Living Water’s main audience groups an opportunity to respond.