A pack of students rebrand a sanctuary

CU Denver design students have modernized the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary's online presence

March 14, 2016

Three University of Colorado Denver seniors developed a new logo and website for a wildlife sanctuary that hosts 30 captive-bred wolves and wolf dogs. The project was one of two major undertakings for a group of students in Design Studio 3, which aims to prepare senior-level students for real client-designer relationships in graphic design, user interface, and motion arts.

From the left, Brianna Corn, Michael Figge, Michelle Bauer Carpenter, Jill Ayers.

The design team decided on three organizations from a nationwide list of registered nonprofits selected by Michelle Carpenter, associate professor of digital design, in the College of Arts and Media. Non-profits are a particularly good fit for this kind of work because they are so dependent on public support.

The sanctuary has withstood wildfire in 2012 and a series of floods in 2013 with the efforts of volunteers, staff and the public. The timing of the college’s support could not have been better because the student team was able to help with promotional materials for Colorado Gives Day, where the sanctuary was able to raise $50,000 for increased medical expenses.

“There is an unregulated industry of breeding captive wolves and wolf dogs for sale as pets,” said Shelley Coldiron, executive director of W.O.L.F. (Wolves Offered Life and Friendship) Sanctuary. “Because wolves and wolf dogs do not behave like regular dogs, once the animals reach maturity the vast majority of these owners can no longer care for them, relegating these animals to neglect, abuse, abandonment, surrender to shelters and/or being euthanized.”

W.O.L.F. Sanctuary is located just northwest of Fort Collins on a large plot of land which, because of zoning restrictions, greatly limits the number of animals the sanctuary can care for. Also, because of the location, the sanctuary is unable to open its doors to the public.

Michael Figge poses with a wolf

“When we met (Coldiron), she was in the works of trying to find a new location. So it’s kind of serendipitous that we came into the whole process at the time that we did,” said Brianna Corn, digital design major. The redesigned website provides details on the move and an appeal for donations that will help the sanctuary make a down payment on a new 180-acre site.

Corn, who designed the logo and other marketing materials, was able to visit the sanctuary with her professor and design team. During the visit, they shot all the photography and video used on the website and got to interact with the wolves.

“It’s really important for designers to understand the importance of giving back to nonprofits and to do pro bono work,” said Carpenter. The website the design team developed will officially launch in mid-March, but it can be viewed now at http://wolfsanctuary.co