An economic institution with an eye to the heartland, Heartland Forward aims to conduct and share relevant research on the economic trends within middle America. Too often, conversations about our country's economy is limited to our coasts. The Heartland Forward site showcases the latest in independent research and data collection to track education, economic development, hiring trends, entrepreneurship, innovation, and human capital. However, Heartland Forward is so much more than just a think tank. The in-depth research and analysis is used to launch economic efforts, spearhead conversations, and fuel the discussions of Heartland Summit, the principal event hosted by Heartland Forward.
We adapted the visual identity originally created for Heartland Summit to meet the needs of a distinct user group. The new Heartland Forward identity was more mature, subdued, and restrained, but maintained visual connective tissue with the think tank's showcase event.
The newly adapted brand identity was then expanded to meet the needs of a modern economic institution. The visual identity was leveraged in a way that balanced professionalism with visual intrigue, from economic reports to letterheads, envelopes, and lastly, a robust digital experience.
The robust digital experience of Heartland Forward is extremely complex—and it needed to be. It is a unique challenge to visually represent case studies and economic reports that span hundreds of micropolitans, multifaceted axes of characteristics, dense data sets, and complicated conversations. But, after dozens of sit-downs, lengthy user journey maps, and a deep dive into Heartland Forward's case studies, we balanced complexity with interactive visual maps, drop down menu options, and layers upon layers of impressive features.