North Carolina Conservation Network: Strategic Plan

Charting the course for the next decade in conservation.

When it’s time to stop playing nice…

You’ve gotta’ roll up your sleeves and get dirty! After an exploration, that’s exactly what we did for NC Conservation Network’s (NCCN) 10-Year Plan and Annual Report.

Flipping the Project on its Head

From our early conversations with NCCN staff, we could tell the 10-Year Plan was the star of the project, but that it needed to be accompanied by an annual report. We kicked off with a request for an annual report. The next step was to figure out how to highlight the 10-Year Plan, while making it easy for people outside of the organization to understand.

Ten years of strategy was jammed onto a single-sided 11” X 14” piece of paper.

All of the passion was in the 10-Year Plan. During every conversation, we heard it in the client’s voice. We quickly flipped the equation, and proposed creating an impressive 10 Year plan and that would incorporate a simpler annual report inside the plan.

Tell It Like It Is

The NCCN staff had a very compelling message, and they were great at telling the story. In order for their affiliates and other environmental organizations to get on-board with the next 10 years, they needed a way to bring it all together. 

We paired NCCN’s no-holds-barred copy with a gritty look inspired by classic revolution posters and modern Shepard Fairey interpretations. We then added a layer of “North Carolina” on top. The goal was to be clear about what was at stake and exactly what the Conservation Network was fighting for. 

Some inspiration for this project:

We created a unique look that put North Carolina Conservation Network in the leadership position within the conservation community.

Visual Language

iSet the tone from the beginning that this plan wasn’t like the others. The grungy texture also cued that this wasn’t going to be easy and hinted at the grassroots effort that’s key to success.

For All

We created a series of anchor images that represented the diverse areas of our state. This also supports NCCN’s commitment to engaging supporters statewide and making a change everyone can see in their own backyards.

We created an icon symbol set to show supporters what NCCN is committed to fighting against and goals they will accomplish.

Simple and Powerful Annual Report

For the annual report, we applied a lighter version of the graphic style developed for the 10-Year Plan. We created a simple, but powerful single-page annual report that folded down nicely into the pocket we created on the Plan’s back cover.


NC Conservation Network now has a powerful, passionate tool to explain where they stand and where they’re going over the next 10 years. In addition, we developed iconography for the steps along their 10-year journey, which will help the staff communicate internally and externally.

Finally, we’ve heard from the client that they’re getting great responses from potential funders, in addition to other organizations and their fans.