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Rebranding Renews the Life in Lifewater

The nightmarish Ebola epidemic may be the scourge that’s captured headlines of late, but the greater threat facing Africa and the rest of the developing world is a lack of clean drinking water. So when Rule 29 set out to refresh the branding of Christian nonprofit water-development organization Lifewater, they made communicating this need to new generations – using modern means – their top priority.

Key to that: injecting Lifewater’s website with modern infographics, gorgeous photography of the people being helped, and an interactive map displaying all the good being done. Click on a place on that map and instantly see stats on what was done there, and the number of people helped because of it.

Also vital: The creation of an annual report that highlighted Lifewater’s commitment to transparency, in part because the online version placed the option to donate to the program prominently at the top. These combined efforts have led to a bump in press, PR and donations, along with a rise in the number of people – young and old – getting involved.

Despite this necessary embracing of modern marketing tactics, one of the biggest lessons Rule 29 learned was also one of the oldest: avoid reinventing the wheel.

For much of its 37-year history, Lifewater had featured a water drop in its logo – the Rule 29 folks wanted to trade that in for something more unique.

“We kept coming back to the equity that they had built up in it, and also just the sheer obviousness of that mark and what it stood for. Oftentimes we try so hard to innovate and ideate just because, and sometimes the solution is right there in front of you,” says Rule 29 Principal and Creative Director Justin Ahrens. “And it’s up to you to redefine it.”

[NOTE: Rule 29’s Justin Ahrens will take you behind the scenes of the Lifewater rebranding on Jan. 29th in a free PaperSpecs webinar sponsored by VMA Storyboard – you won’t want to miss it!]




Author: Sabine Lenz

Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs, THE online source for paper information, inspiration and insights. A graphic designer with more than 20 years of experience in Germany, Australia and the United States, she writes frequently for several industry publications and is also a speaker on paper and related topics.


  1. Rebranding Lifewater: A Before & After - Paperspecs - […] to know more?  Check out this video featuring Justin and the rebranding of […]

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