Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Creating a memorable identity to visualize complex ecosystems in a changing world


For over 25 years, the scientists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY have been investigating the complex connections that govern the natural world. It is based on the fact that the world is a changing place. Interactions among the air, water, soil, plants, and animals around us are changing in myriad ways that profoundly affect the environmental quality, human health, economic activity, and climate change. The ecosystem approach, used holistically to investigate these interactions, is the most powerful method for analyzing environmental change. We worked with the Cary Institute to design the logo identity, printed materials, as well as an outdoor signage system.

To understand ecosystems, it is necessary to study all elements (living creatures and the non-living physical factors of the environment) from all angles and perspectives. Historical and current data sets need to be compared to propose scientific solutions as well as for the complete image to come into view. The Cary Institute logo design expresses this dimensional thinking.

  • Branding
  • Signage System
  • Education
  • Nonprofit
The logo consists of four circular shapes that develop into a full “view” of complex investigations. 

Outdoor Signage System

Situated on nearly 2,000 acres in New York’s mid-Hudson Valley, the Cary Institute offers visitors a range of recreational and learning experiences. We worked with the Institute to develop an outdoor signage system to guide visitors to the main areas and specific points of interest. The signs were designed and produced based on the established brand identity guidelines.

The signage was installed in many places across the 2,000 acres of the Cary Institute’s property. 
The sign at the driveway to the entrance of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. 
We designed the signs using a functional typeface and a hierarchical color system. 
It is the mission of the Cary Institute to investigate the complex natural interactions and connections to be able to react to changes that affect the environment.1 The proposed website design included infographics that creatively visualized some of those complexities. 
  1. It is important that we understand complex bio systems and develop an increased environmental literacy, especially during this time of profound climate change.
Website home page and program overview landing page 
Website pages examples 
Lyme disease infographic 
The Hudson River ecosystem infographic 
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