Did you know that CEDAM is turning 15 this year? If you’ve been around a few years, you’ll know that we’ve grown and evolved quite a bit since 1998. Today, we have fifteen people on staff, we run six programs out of our office in addition to our policy and training activities and we are involved with more partnerships and initiatives than we can count on both hands.
We decided that our fifteenth birthday would be a great time to take stock and refresh both our look and our activities. Last year our board developed an updated mission, vision and strategic plan, and now we are proud to unveil a complete new visual brand and completely new websites for CEDAM and all our programs.
Logos and Visual Brand
Lisa Benck, our Communications and Training Specialist, created the new logos and branding elements with board and committee input. While the new logos are simple and elegant for a 2013 aesthetic, they also embody CEDAM’s essence: the circle emblem represents both people holding working together and CEDAM surrounding our members with resources. We continue to use blue as our main color, but the shade has been updated and each program now has its own color as well. Lisa also updated our “vibrant communities” illustration, seen on the CEDAM homepage and our Destination: Vibrant Communities publication. Keep an eye out for our new branding on everything from emails to business cards.
When I heard we were getting new branding in 2013, I knew it was the perfect time to completely revamp our web presence. Our old site had served us well, but it was a victim of growing pains; it wasn’t built to incorporate all our programs and our new membership and training functionality (hence the Member Portal). Lisa and I teamed up, with help from the Communications Committee, to design and develop a new site in-house using the free WordPress Multisite platform. The rest of the staff worked hard to make sure the information and resources we provide are useful, current and easy to find.
Our new site is actually not one site, but seven! Each program now has its own individual website, with its own content and branding but all under the same cedamichigan.org “roof.” We hope this will make it easier to see program relationships and find related resources. In addition to bringing all our programs into the fold, here are some other features of the new site:
- Cleaner, easy-to-read appearance featuring our new branding
- Responsive design: the site should be easy to read and use whether you’re on a PC, tablet or phone (unless you are using Internet Explorer 8, which is a little buggy – we’re working on it!)
- Training, membership, e-mail subscriptions and private resources are integrated into the main CEDAM site instead of housed in a separate “member portal”
- Improved navigation and search: it should be much easier to find resources and tell where you are on the site
- Automatic date stamp on pages, so you can see how current information is
- Easier-to-use staff directory and better contact functionality (you will get a confirmation email when you submit a form through the site)
- Easier for staff to update, so we can keep information more current for you
We hope you like the new site. If you run into any problems, please comment below or email me so I can fix them. We also welcome suggestions for new resources on the site. After all, it’s in our mission: “We synthesize and share information, enabling our members to resolve local challenges.”