The Champion of Trees 10K was one of the first major projects I tackled at The Morton Arboretum. Following a refresh of their brand which included the new tagline "The Champion of Trees", the previous "Arbor Day 10K" was due for an update that embraced the new brand. With the change in the name came the need for a redesign of the look and feel of the race.
The task at hand was to create a mark for the race that could easily be updated year over year. Initially this would be just a change to the date but as I got more into the project, I created a system in which each year was represented by a leaf which was a tactic used by the "Fall Color 5K" and helped to tie the events together. Expanding upon that, I found that the shirts were a good vehicle for a teaching opportunity as the Arboretum likes to teach and advocate for trees wherever they can! As the leaf changes each year, I added a small paragraph under the mark that included the name and scientific name as well as an interesting fact about that tree. This was then added to the 5K shirts later on.
Beyond the shirts, the branding extended to a large banner at the starting line, tent banners, email headers, cheering signs, and more. This redesign found a place for Arboretum expertise in an event that is primarily just for fun and set a standard for incorporating the Arboretum's scientific knowledge into other events.
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