Heart Linked is a movement that fosters belonging, resiliency, and leadership in young girls.
By collaborating to create online and in-person retreat experiences, Heart Linked cultivates opportunities for growth and self-discovery.
Founded in 2017 by Cathy Edwards and Shelley Kavia, Heart Linked grew out of a desire to make a difference in the lives of youth – to heal wounds, build relationships, and nourish souls. A number of northern Saskatchewan communities found themselves in crisis – facing increasing numbers of suicide and self-harm amongst their youth.
To date, three communities have experienced specialized, in-person retreat programming to help address trauma or challenges in their community.
Upon hearing the concept of Heart Linked from Shelley and Cathy, we knew we needed to be involved. When they shared stories of the impact that these retreats had on young girls it brought tears to all of our eyes. We wanted to get behind them and make their cause come to life so we offered a substantial in-kind donation.
With such an important and life-changing mission, Shelley and Cathy needed a strong brand that could grow alongside their vision.
They wanted to share the story of Heart Linked and all of the amazing work that they do, establish all the tools they need to grow the organization successfully, and attract and retain new and existing funders through strong messaging. The ability to do e-commerce was also a key component.
We wanted to approach the challenging themes that Heart Linked combats in a way that felt authentic to their brand, while also conveying a feeling of joy and hope through the messaging and design of the website.
The project scope included:
- Defining brand goals and target audiences
- Developing compelling and consistent key messaging
- Developing a strong brand identity
- Designing & building a new website that tells the brand story
- Implementing a WooCommerce site for selling merchandise
- Creating marketing collateral including one-pager, business cards, and postcard
- Brand Strategy
The first step in building a brand is to create a brand strategy. This included completing a brand sprint – where we defined the goals of the project, building out customer personas, defining key messaging, and copy ideation.
Our process for building a brand includes a lot of research and a lot of iteration. We worked closely with Heart Linked to ensure that the messaging felt genuine and that the brand was a true reflection of who they are and aligns with what they are trying to achieve.
We wanted the messaging to tell their story, but also instill hope in the reader. The language used is uplifting and empowering, and it is further elevated by the bright and cheerful design.
- Visual Identity
A lot of thought and consideration went into creating the visual Identity for Heart Linked. We needed to create a website that would be intriguing for young girls, but also appealing to sponsors and teachers. With those audiences top of mind, we created the following:
The logo is one of the most crucial parts of any project. This is the piece that represents the entire brand and has the ability to tell their story using a single design. We created the bird with the heart wings, representing the ‘heart’ in Heart Linked. Since birds are widely considered to be a symbol of freedom, enlightenment, and hope, we thought it was the perfect choice to represent Heart Linked’s unique mission. The team connected with the logo instantly and it set us up to tackle the rest of the design with confidence.
We went with a pastel colour palette, keeping the overall look and feel of the site fresh, calming, and light. The orange, teal, and yellow colours bring subtle hints of spring – representing a fresh start and new beginnings.
Textures & Icons
We wanted to make the site engaging and warm, and adding textures and icons helped us to do that. The heart conversation bubbles and the flower background with the teal wave were the perfect additions to add more personality to the site.
- Website & Launch
With the brand strategy and visual identity all built out, we were able to start creating the website. We knew it would be a complex website with e-commerce and membership transactions involved. Keeping in mind Heart Linked’s personas and goals, we created an informative and engaging site, with an elevated brand and message. Along with the designs and icons, we added in some real photography to really bring the site to life.
From strategy to launch, we kept our process open and collaborative. Working with Heart Linked we created a brand that is as strong as its message. We are so proud of the work that we did, and the process was tremendously inspiring and fulfilling. The launch of the new brand and website will hopefully inspire others to support this amazing organization.
Heart Linked came to us in need of a brand and website that would tell their unique story, and encourage and empower those who interact with it. Throughout the process we learned a lot from Shelley and Cathy, and the incredible, life-changing work they do. We’re grateful to have worked on this project and are happy to be Heart Linked members.
“The Rock and Bloom family will always have a special place in our hearts! The process of translating the passion and vision behind our work into a brand and website seemed overwhelming. Fortunately, the team at Rock and Bloom are true masters of navigating this journey and we absolutely love everything that they have created for us.”
“Our membership and product sales continue to grow over time, but one of the most important benefits of our website and branding is credibility for potential corporate and funding agencies. Since launching our site we have attracted over $55,000 in support of our work.”
Through their new brand and website, Heart Linked is able to connect with their community, obtain sponsorships, and inspire young girls. Visit their website to learn more about their incredible mission and to become a supporter.