A data-driven reflection of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area.
Powered by the Omaha Community Foundation, The Landscape looks at the Omaha-Council Bluffs region within six areas of community life — health, neighborhoods, workforce, transportation, safety, and education.
This community snapshot represents real people of all ages, races, incomes, and zip codes in Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie counties — and some of the most urgent issues they are facing today. It reflects the experiences of our friends, family, and neighbors and also reveals where we’ve grown and where we have opportunities to improve our quality of life.
In their day-to-day work, OCF connects people who care about the community with the organizations doing the most good. One way they do this is with Omaha Gives!, a 24-hour charitable challenge, which has existed for several years. With The Landscape, they want to reach a larger audience of donors and funding partners, policymakers, community leaders and vocal advocates, and nonprofits working in these six areas.
For the overall design direction, existing alongside two established brands, The Landscape feels less whimsical than Omaha Gives! and more informational than the OCF brand. It’s about this particular place, the people who live here, and the data that tells a story of the challenges our community faces. The design is meant to be clear and direct. Almost like a citywide utility designed to serve the public good with its information.
The Logo: The visual cue of the circle, which is also used in the Omaha Community Foundation logo and Omaha Gives! branding, provides a continuity and subtle link back to OCF. Multi-colored triangles are arranged to represent multiple indicators or paths. All paths meet on the horizon, merging at a singular point. The mark symbolizes a convergence of multiple pieces of information, a way made clearer, a path we can travel together, a future to which we can aspire, a wholeness and equality that we can achieve.
The Landscape website is designed to move visitors right into the data. The homepage does offer a concise overview of the project but aside from that, the area of focus landing and detail pages are where we want visitors to spend their time. The actions taken by visitors, aside from sharing the project, are to add their voice, find a nonprofit to support through Omaha Gives!, and get involved in the community in whatever way they can.
The data is the heart of the project. The research and evaluation of all information was assembled by the OCF team. Within each area of focus, a collection of indicators are analyzed and broken down. Three different sets of data for each indicator are visualized and contextualized in a casual, direct tone so it’s easy for site visitors to take it all in.
Depending on the data itself, the designs for the infographics consist of line graphs, bar graphs radial graphs, large numbers, comparisons, and simple visualizations. When data points aren’t available, iconography and common illustrations are used. The end result can either be an emphasis on high-level findings or more of an in depth analysis of complicated issues with various levels of nuance.
The identity design and infographics are supported by a collection of documentary style photography. Over the course of several outings, we photographed Omaha and Council Bluffs to capture a specific backdrop of this particular place relating to the areas of focus. Taken together, the photos show a city going on about its business, from the urban core to suburban homes, noting the various services available and highlighting the different ways people see the community.
Launch + Next
We launched The Landscape in three phases, releasing two areas of focus at a time. The project now exists online in its entirety. The final part of the site was to document and share individual stories of people who live here. Compelling stories from a breast cancer survivor, single parent, and other hard working members of the community. It’s the human side of the data. The unique perspectives of the people who make Omaha and Council Bluffs what it is today.
The Landscape is ultimately about starting a conversation. A conversation that isn’t always easy for cities to have. An honest look at where we stand as a community. It’s not the full story, but it was never meant to be. It’s incomplete on purpose. Our hope now is that it can be added to by more voices and as it gets shared, it can spark conversation and eventually inspire positive change for everyone living here.