Watermark Project infographic

The Watermark Project is an online archive of stories where people share personal memories that took place in or around a specific body of water. Over time, it’s interesting to see how relationships with water change. Each story not only serves as a record of a person’s connection to water, but also serves as a record of a person using the water. In environmental law, proof of use carries weight. When you can prove that people use a body of water, that body of water now has value and becomes easier to protect. And if the body of water is safe to touch, people are protected too. This is why the Watermark Project is so important. By archiving a simple story, many good things can be achieved.


The Challenge

Watermark Project logo (2015-16).

Because the project was just beginning, I was asked to create a temporary logo, but branding the Watermark Project was a little challenging. At the time, it was a new initiative for Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, but it was to be promoted across Canada so local references to Lake Ontario or Lake Ontario Waterkeeper were to be avoided (because people in British Columbia probably wouldn’t connect with Lake Ontario issues or recognize Lake Ontario Waterkeeper). Knowing that the logo was temporary, I decided to stick to a wordmark. My goal was to ensure the word Watermark was easily legible. I also secretly hoped, somehow, by making the word clear and bold, it had some kind of subliminal effect, helping the word become more memorable. ** The popularity of the Watermark Project (and the already established, Swim Guide) further encouraged the need to shift Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s identity into a more geographically broad direction – now Swim Drink Fish Canada.** 

The next task was to collect Watermarks (water stories) and to do so we needed a way to simply articulate the project and its significance. So it was decided that we needed an infographic. The program manager drafted the messaging and I worked with her to simplify it with consideration to pairing the text with icons. As the messaging became more concise, finding corresponding icons became easier. I’m happy to say this infographic is a commonly used resource for the Watermark Project today.