2015 Brand New Brand Winner: EcoSpaces

Our judges had a tough job selecting our first ever recipient of our Brand New Brand award, considering the wide range of impressive organizations who applied. And the winner is… EcoSpaces, an educational program working with about 400 K-8 students in Newark, NJ. 


EcoSpaces Education Identity and Website Launches

The new EcoSpaces Education brand launched in February of 2016, the product of months of collaboration between IOP, our partners and EcoSpaces. The fresh logo and tagline capture the mission and spirit of the organization. And, the new visual identity is applied across communications tools, from PowerPoint and Word templates, to postcards and tote bags, to their new robust website we created. See the case study.

In November 2016, the EcoSpaces Education website won Best Nonprofit Web Design from the iNova Awards.


Frank Mentesana, Founding Director of EcoSpaces said:

We can’t begin to thank you all enough. Being the winner of Brand New Brand came at the right moment for us. Our work with Ideas On Purpose and their partners has been a wonderful experience for us and the results are truly remarkable. We are already seeing amazing opportunities for growth and collaboration. The site has inspired us all to begin taking the next steps in our evolution, steps we know will have positive effects on the health and wellness of more children and their families.  


Visit the site.



Progress: Logo and Website

We were happy to have EcoSpaces leadership in the office. They came to review logo options, and weigh in on initial information architecture for the website.

IMG_4992_edited     EcoSpaces Design Meeting

EcoSpaces had a difficult decision to make on the logo, but we’re all very excited to move ahead with what they chose. The tagline is set too. We look forward to sharing the finished result down the road. Keep an eye out!

We welcome Igicom to the team as our programming partner!


Photos by Matthew Roop.

IOP Visits EcoSpaces

EcoSpaces is taking a holistic approach to developing healthy relationships between children, family and food. To get the IOP team up to speed, we took a field trip to visit Phillips Academy to learn and see the EcoSpaces program in action.

IOP Visits EcoSpaces

Building on the success of the current program, it will be expanded to other schools, with the goal of offering resources for educators and families to prioritize seed-to-table-to-soil food education by giving kids the tools to understand where food comes from, how it nourishes us, and how it shapes our relationships.  

We had a great time meeting their passionate team and seeing the students that benefit from this unique program. We’re excited to help build the EcoSpaces brand and will share our progress as it unfolds. Stay tuned.

Images courtesy of our photography partner, Peter Ross.

Our 2015-2016 Judges and Process

We enrolled the help of expert judges. Judging happened in two rounds. First, the IOP experts and our partners made an initial selection of semi-finalists. We ensured the semi-finalists met all of the criteria for a successful partnership and agree to basic terms (i.e., be able to participate in the workshop, attend presentation sessions and be able to support the ongoing implementation of the new brand). Then, the semi-finalists were reviewed by a panel of independent judges who selected the winner of Brand New Brand.

The Judges were:


Joan Barlow

Joan Barlow is the Creative Services Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). RWJF, the nation’s largest health philanthropy, is working to build a Culture of Health enabling all in our diverse society to lead healthier lives, now and for generations to come. Barlow’s 25 years of varied brand marketing expertise has helped construct and implement RWJF’s visual identity development, as well as brands and communications for numerous programs and grantees. She serves as an Advisory Board Member for the AIGA Design for Good initiative, and is a strong proponent of human-centered design approaches to challenge, engage and motivate people to improve their health—and ultimately their lives.



Claire Schultz

Claire Schultz is the Chief Executive Officer of the Hearing Health Foundation, the largest private funder of hearing research, with a mission to prevent and cure hearing loss and tinnitus. Schultz previously served in senior leadership roles at Amnesty International, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. At JDRF, Schultz led a major rebranding and repositioning effort with national and international scope. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Schultz held management positions at NBC, Inc., Microsoft Corp and Disney/ABC, Inc.



Jill Sendor-Laychak

Jill Sendor-Laychak is the founder and principal of JSL Associates, a communications firm that works with a range of clients from corporations to small start-ups and from nonprofits to trade associations. Before establishing JSL Associates, Sendor-Laychak was director, communications services, for Texaco Inc., and prior to that she spent 20 years in corporate, marketing and employee communications for Champion International. Passionate about giving back, she has served as a director on several boards, including the Stamford Museum & Nature Center and the Bartlett Arboretum, and serves as a volunteer on numerous nonprofit committees, the most recent being Stamford Citizen of the Year and Treetops Chamber Music Society.