The Great Green Wall Frontline

Brand Identity

Identity for a climate initiative in Africa which sets out to be the largest living structure on the planet.

The Great Green Wall is the world’s most audacious climate initiative. Best visualised as a ‘wall of trees’ spanning from Senegal to Djibouti, it is a burgeoning green corridor bringing life back to degraded landscapes, growing climate resilience and creating food security and jobs for the millions who live along its path.

Africa’s dream of a Great Green Wall dates back to the 1970s, when vast swathes of fertile land in a region called the Sahel, which spans the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, started to become severely degraded.

The ambition is to restore 100 million hectares of this degraded land by 2030, sequester 250 million tonnes of carbon and create 10 million rural livelihoods. In 2022, at roughly 15% underway, the initiative needed fresh energy to tackle its bold mission. 

For over a decade The Great Green Wall has existed with a brand that represented the institutional dimension of the project, working alongside organisations on funding and regulation.

The task was now to create a new identity for the campaign that aims to excite the next generation into making the Great Green Wall happen, as well as a campaign to represent the grassroots movement which stretches across 11 Sub-Saharan countries, as the Frontline is an active community working on the ground.

Working with changemakers Civic and the African Union, Pentagram created a new identity system which aims to be easy to recognise and as simple as possible to reproduce with very limited resources. 

The iconic use of a green line represents the unity between many countries, communities, cultures and efforts. It’s a flexible system that works in any language, which can be easily appropriated, and does not need words to convey its message.

Alongside bold uppercase typography, the line is used as a graphic element in all communications, creating a visual and verbal language. It can underline and highlight important words, cross out negative concepts, connect places or actions, or be used blank, indicating spaces that can be filled or customised.

The design team created a brand toolbox which embraces hackability and encourages DIY reproductions using lo-fi materials such as ink or tape. The line can also be used for practical functions such as a grip tape on planting tools. A system for partnership with other brands was also developed to help with fundraising efforts. 

Once complete, the Great Green Wall will be the largest living structure on the planet, at three times the size of the Great Barrier Reef. Pentagram’s new identity will resonate with both those who live along the Great Green Wall—giving them a sense of purpose and belonging—and will ensure that this important initiative gains awareness throughout Africa and beyond.

Brand Identity
Marina Willer
Project team
Cleber de Campos
Hamlet Auyeung
Marta Gaspar
Rita Desport
Jeremy Downes
Kate Blewett
John Grant (strategy)
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