Plant society

Print & Web collateral Visual Design

I enjoy helping out the Bay Area Carnivorous Plant Society (BACPS), a non-profit group of botanists, professional growers and hobbyists interested in strange and interesting new plants.

Project Description

I've been creating most of BACPS print and web promotional pieces and helping the club expand into social media to promote their events since 2008. My goal is to create eye-catching graphics which build excitement and word of mouth about upcoming society events.

One of the challenges around promoting niche interests is the tendency of the stakeholders to be very literal about visually representing the subject of the interest. While being literal is effective in appealing to people already close to the subject, it does not spark the imagination of new people who might become interested in the subject. In my research among people unfamiliar with carnivorous plants, I focused on two interesting findings: the first was among adults who showed some interest, what the plants do is far more interesting than what the plants look like. The second finding was that for adults and children who were neutral to mildly opposed to learning more about the plants, there was a significant "squick" factor, in that respondents noted they were afraid the plants would embody negative attributes such as being poisonous or harmful to humans.

With those findings in mind and with the goal of expanding the society's event attendance, I chose to represent carnivorous plants in non-representational illustrations which contrast whimsy with their deadly (to insects) nature. I designed a series of images promoting the society's upcoming events at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, Randall Museum's Bug Days and BACPS's own annual show and sale, which is the primary revenue generator that funds the society's participation in other events. In the time I've generated event promotions for BACPS's show, event attendance has increased sharply each year.

List of projects:

  • Event posters & flyers, print versions are posted locally, web versions shared on social media
  • Rewrote Society's care sheets to a 5th grade reading level. These care sheets are distributed with free plants at society events
  • Customized the CMS for the club's (now decommissioned) web forum, acted as forum admin

Project Details

Client: Bay Area Carnivorous Plant Society
Usage: Print, web
Tools: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop