Joelle Image's Portfolio

hawaiʻi roots

identity system for sierra club oʻahu program

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign [2022]

The Sierra Club has a long history of outings programs, including hikes and service trips (i.e trail building and restoration projects), throughout the state. In 2020, due to COVID-19, it canceled its outings and restoration project. The Virtual Tree Planting program was created as a way to get people to plant and care for trees at home. The “virtual” part includes a ZOOM master class with two Sierra Club tree planting experts and super volunteers. During this class participants who are interested in planting trees at home can learn about native plants, discuss plant and tree care, ask questions, and talk story. It’s not very structured, and is meant to be more informal and welcoming. Following the class, The Sierra Club picks up a variety of trees (the last round included alaheʻe, ʻaʻaliʻi, milo, oʻhia and hibiscus) from local nursery, Hui Ku Maoli Ola). The Sierra Club then arranges for people to pick up their trees at one of the tree planting sites, Ala Mahamoe on Oʻahu. The tree pick up is first come/first served, but all folks who come will be able to talk to project volunteers if they have questions about which tree would be right for their space. The Sierra Club also gives away “gift bags” of soil and fertilizer, and will include the “how to care for your tree” information booklet.

As a part of a design team tasked with creating a program name as well as an identity system for this Virtual Tree Planting program, Hawaiʻi Roots was born. The concept behind this was that along with the roots being the strongest part of the tree, we also wanted to emphasize the concept of mālama ʻāina. Through the actions of caring for their tree, the person is tied back to the roots of Hawaiian culture that helped Native Hawaiians live a subsistence lifestyle. But, not only that, trees are vital to the environment—they provide oxygen, improve air quality, conserve water, support wildlife, and so on. So with that, these roots that will be planted and cared for will be vital parts of the environment and as they grow over the years, they will help make for a sustainable planet for not only our generation but for generations after us. 

The mark consists of three main components: 1) roots that hang below each letter of the program name which sits in the middle ground of the mark, 2) the program name, Hawaiʻi Roots, and 3) the icons that are composed of illustrations of Native Hawaiian flora and fauna as well as tools commonly used in the tree planting process that sit or emulate growth above each letter.