Greening Croydon: Grow with John Campaign

This year marks the John Whitgift Foundation’s 425th anniversary, and to commemorate this momentous milestone, the charity is running their biggest community project ever called ‘Grow with John’. This project aims to support the community by promoting the health benefits of gardening, whilst also creating a lasting legacy for the Foundation.

Like many organisations, JWF is keen to embrace some of the positive changes the pandemic has accelerated, and a renewed focus on sustainability, gardening and being greener particularly appealed to them given their values on enriching the lives of the community.

It is now more important than ever to encourage people to take up outdoor activities to relieve stress and support mental health, having spent much of the past year confined to our homes. With spring in the air and lockdown restrictions easing, there couldn’t be a more ideal opportunity to get Croydon gardening!

We were tasked with bringing this campaign to life by creating animations and graphics of the founder, John Whitgift, which were to feature on the campaign website, how-to guide videos, social media promotion and various other materials.

The starting point was to explore a variety of potential illustration styles through the use of moodboards. We considered traditional, modern, and highly stylised illustration, the latter of which involved illustrating John’s character in the shape of letters. Owing to its abstract look and feel, it was certainly the most ‘out there’ concept, but it was the route which resonated most with us. And the client felt the same way so a great start to the project!

Having agreed on an illustrative style, the next step was to draw the John characters so that they were bent and distorted into the letter shapes; ‘G’, ‘R’, ‘O’ and ‘W’, with each letter depicting John undertaking a gardening activity. This illustration served as the campaign logo, and can be found on all Grow with John related materials.

With the illustration now complete, it was time to introduce some dynamism and motion to the campaign by creating an animated video sequence of the illustration to be used as an intro and outro on their gardening how-to videos, as well as to feature as the hero asset on the the website header. We also created title cards and lower third name cards so they had access to all these assets to create and edit their own branded videos.

To promote the campaign, we produced A3 posters and A5 leaflets to go up in garden centres and local NatWest branches who partnered with JWF. Both followed a clean design bursting with colour, with illustrations of flowers and plants blooming from the page corners.

To increase awareness and engagement with the campaign and JWF, the Foundation is giving out free seeds to encourage everyone within the community to get growing – we sourced and organised production of these seed packets and our design can be seen below.

We also produced several social media templates to further amplify awareness and consolidate their online brand presence.

Catherine Shirley, Head of Marketing and Communications, John Whitgift Foundation, said:

 “Celebrating 425 years of supporting people of all ages and backgrounds across Croydon, this is the biggest community project in our history and will bring the joy of gardening direct to the heart of our residents. We have been delighted with the creative thanks to To The Point who have nailed the brief to bring the campaign and John to life.”