Koto’s New Ecosia Brand Lists Diversity of Tree Species Across the Globe

Koto has rebranded Ecosia, a search engine that uses web search profits to plant trees. Work with Adrian Johnson To produce illustrations that visualize the ecological regeneration the brand is focused on, Koto Creative Director Tim Williams and Managing Director Johann Laeschke tell us the ins and outs of the work.

From the outset, the goal behind the project was to expand Ecosia’s brand from a search engine to a “more holistic offering” as the brand branched out into new areas, Johann and Tim explain. Without a strict mandate on what might change, and after looking at competitors to see “where the visual equity stood for Ecosia”, Koto landed on two interrelated ideas to guide the work: “Power the regeneration” and “Never Neutral “. Ecosia’s new look is wonderfully pleasing to the eye with a slew of growing trees – a concept that also played out brilliantly on another brand of How&How tree planting apps this year. However, for Koto, the approach came with its own set of difficulties.

“Ecosia helps plant hundreds of tree species, so we couldn’t represent them all. Rather, our approach was to show the diversity across the globe,” the design makers explain. “They needed to be vector-based and scalable at small sizes, so adding textures wasn’t going to work.” The solution comes in the form of a soft identity, which just reflects the natural look and feel that Koto wanted. “We avoided straight lines in the illustrations,” confirms the team. Sloped and smooth is the best way to describe graphics now. used throughout the brand, with singular illustrations often blending into whole interlocking forest scenes. This style of illustration, developed with Adrian, although not very detailed, delivers “complex ideas in a wonderfully clever way” with a motion design used to bring the graphics to life.

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