Design Alabama
Design Alabama


Brand Identity for River Region Trails

Trails have long been part of America’s landscape and no longer limited to forests, mountains and prairies. Montgomery joins the many municipalities discovering the benefits of having trails close to home.

A new project under way in the Capital City is River Region Trails – a network of recreational trails winding throughout Montgomery that provide safe and enjoyable opportunities to walk, jog and bike.

River Region Trails, Inc. is developing a network of pedestrian greenways, parks and other outdoor resources in the River Region. Phase 1 involves planning a 30-mile connected loop to link downtown to east Montgomery, including the neighborhoods in between.

This beginning planning stage is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. A construction date depends on such factors as funding. The new trail system will also tie into existing trails.

Trails follow existing and abandoned rail lines, creek beds, streets and sidewalks and are designed with the needs of the neighborhoods in mind. The project also includes a new trail system, nature center and boardwalk through the 260-acre Cypress Nature Preserve located near downtown Montgomery.

The Montgomery-based comprehensive branding and marketing firm, Copperwing has developed a brand identity for the new trail system. The brand was first introduced through the River Region Trails, Inc. website, which was developed by Copperwing.

Copperwing created a striking and distinctive primary mark for River Region Trails. The design consists of a bold footprint in varying shades of green that evokes trail paths and a representation of leaves.

“The client River Region Trails, Inc suggested foot prints as an icon so we bounced off that idea,” explains Copperwing Partner and Creative Director Angela Stiff. “We felt it was important to incorporate the diverse terrain of the trails that included both natural landscapes and city settings. So, we incorporated an overview of the layout of a city and added leaves to represent green spaces.”

The mark gives audiences an initial understanding that this organization represents city planning and development, nature and human movement. The distinctive mark also draws like-minded people to the project. As Stiff points out, as with any identity, it should invite and encourage people to want to know more.

“We used the new mark, in part, as a graphic asset in the site design,” she adds. “The pattern makes for very eye-catching imagery, especially when paired with photography. We produced a short-motion graphic that was used on social media that also helped to promote the site and our client’s mission to extend pedestrian greenways.”

River Region Trails is part of Envision 2040, the city of Montgomery’s comprehensive plan, its first long-range strategic plan in more than 50 years.

River Region Trails is currently fundraising for their Vision Plan, the first step in a larger overall master plan for Cypress Nature Park and the Greenways network.

The master plan is a 14 to 18-month process that will help fully digest previous planning efforts, such as the Envision 2040 Plan. It will also help to evaluate the current needs of citizens and stakeholders, and the environmental and physical constraints that will guide the design of the park and trails. The master plan will serve as the guide book to begin development and construction of these projects.

Also, part of the project is a new trail system, nature center and boardwalk through the 260-acre Cypress Nature Preserve located near downtown Montgomery

The distinctive identity mark for River Region Trails, Inc. is a stylized footprint in shades of green that depicts the trail system and leaves. It is on the organization’s website and social media, and Copperwing has created mockups to show the many ways in which the image can be used.

In the first phase planning stage, River Region Trails in the Capital City will be a network of recreational trails that wind throughout Montgomery, providing safe and enjoyable opportunities to walk, jog and bike.

*Article Written by Jessica Armstrong and Images courtesy of Copperwing Design


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