Leave the Earth, Better

Better Place Forests is reimagining the end-of-life experience by providing a sustainable alternative to cemetery burials. Their mission is to inspire everyone to leave a meaningful legacy for the planet and the people they love by offering memorial trees in protected forests.


Trees, not tombstones

End-of-life planning isn’t an easy subject to talk about. It can be uncomfortable, depressing, and fraught with complications. Better Place Forests is looking to change that. In order to do so, they needed a better way to tell their story and evolve their online presence. We developed a comprehensive content strategy, design system, and website to help their team best support families in their end-of-life arrangements.

Redefining the end-of-life category

In a world of euphemisms and confusing up-sells, there’s ample room for straight, sincere talk. People want to understand what their options are, how things work, and to speak with people comfortable talking about death, last wishes, and ongoing commemoration. Armed with these insights, we developed a content strategy to help navigate the general discomfort around death, with the values of approachability, respect, and optimism acting as our key pillars.


Building a lasting framework

A key component to the new Better Place Forests experience was a new website and digital strategy, designed to connect with a wider audience and clearly articulate the true value behind the company’s expansive service offering. Research, interviews and user testing informed the architecture of the site to support our new narrative, evolved content hierarchy, and fluid design system.


Crafting a visual language

Better Place Forest’s new voice went hand-in-hand with an evolved design language. After a robust exploration that included moodboarding exercises, mock-ups, and fruitful collaboration, we created a warm and welcoming visual system that harmonized with the newly established tone of voice. Human-oriented photography, an organic illustration style, and expressive typography are all united to form the foundation of Better Place Forest’s design language.

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We knew we could trust the quality of work from Make&Model, but what was truly impressive was their ability to collaboratively problem solve, to remain organized with an ambiguous starting point, and their thoughtful, empathetic leadership. Stated another way, it really felt like they were in the trenches with us and received and incorporated team feedback thoughtfully & elegantly.”

Matthew Smith: CMO, Better Place Forests


More than a fresh face

A new and improved design system can work wonders, but it also needs to sustain itself against future iterations as business goals change and evolve. With this in mind, we developed a comprehensive library of scalable design components to maintain consistency in execution, future page creation, and collateral materials. This system—nicknamed “Spruce”—acts as a kit of parts for designers, writers, and marketers to be applied across various touchpoints.

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Death as a celebration of life

This project gave us pause to think about our own opinions on death, burials and the passing of loved ones. The relaunch of the Better Place Forests brand is a celebration of life, and an opportunity for people to begin planning a meaningful memorial. Talking about death isn’t easy, but we’ve learned that there’s space to bring a personal, human, voice to the conversation to help minimize the challenge of the experience…and maybe even make it enjoyable.

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