Spruce interactive


Roots of Action

Updated brand and website for child adolescent development blog.

Project Type: Re-brand, Web Design & Development

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 Details

Designed by KJ Parish : kjparish.com

Roots of action is a blog maintained by child developmental psychologist, Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD. The site offers a series of articles, stories and insights inthe fields of  child and adolescent development, education, positive psychology, and neurobiology.

First, let’s take a look at what the site was before, and the blog as it stood before we began work on it…

The Old…

Roots of Action - Old Blog Design


For the most part, the site was set up like a fairly standard “blog” and visually felt a bit flat and dated. In order to elevate the impression of the site to being one that had a high level of professionalism while also reinforcing the central message, we decided it needed less of a standard blog structure and more use of graphic elements (photography, icons, fun typographic headings, and an interesting navigation system) to push the ideas and mission of Roots of Action while continuing to serve the readers with timely articles and information the rely on. Here’s where we ended up…

The New!

Roots of Action- Youth Development in the Digital Age


For starters, to move away from associations with green/eco companies, we evolved the tree logo with an updated font and bright yellow/green color. This color became an essential ingredient within the new brand color scheme.


The Compass Concept

When Marilyn approached us for an updated look / structure to her website, we felt that more could be done to focus the message around core areas of childhood development and eventually devised the concept of the internal compass. This compass became both a literal and figurative aspect of both the brand of Roots of Action as well as the site’s visual and navigation structure. Readers can navigate the compass to narrow the focus of their article search to a specific aspect of childhood development. The compass points are color-coded, and this color scheme appears in just about every aspect of the structure, giving added organization and meaning to elements like article links, tags, sidebar buttons, etc.





Readers have the option to explore articles in Grid view or List view – with a simple toggle switch to change the look and feel, navigating can be a purely visual experience or can involve the usual introductory text for each article.

Articles - Roots of Action_list

Articles - Roots of Action

Teach Your Child to Be a Skeptic - Roots of Action







Talk to Us

Wise men have said, "All good things must come to an end", and so it was with Spruce. We began our first project in 2006, and completed our last in Fall 2013. It's been a wonderful experience, but now it's time to begin the next adventure.

Though...we wouldn't want to leave you hanging, now would we? Here are our top recommendations for world-class branding, design, and web development:

  • Kristina (KJ) Parish and Beam Collective:
    KJ provided the artistic vision that allowed Spruce to succeed, and we still think she's the greatest designer in the entire world. She's started a new collective with some talented developers, and is covering much the same territory as Spruce--design and development all under one roof, with a caliber of service and professionalism seldom seen in this business or any other. If you like what you see on the Spruce site, then definitely get in touch with KJ at kj@beamcollective.com
  • Permanent Art & Design
    Permanent is a nationally recognized design & branding firm out of Minneapolis, MN. They've been a long term collaborator and strategic partner over the past couple years, and we'd recommend them for medium to large sized businesses/organizations who are serious about putting their best foot forward. In addition to design, Permanent offers strategy and marketing services, plus in-house and networked developers. For more information contact Joseph Belk joseph@permanentadg.com
  • Nate Thompson
    A freelancer, Nate reminds us of ourselves back in the day. Smart, communicative, and skilled, Nate is our recommendation for small to medium sized businesses/organizations who have sites built on Wordpress or other open source content management solutions. With a background in both design and development, he's a one-stop shop for most web-related tasks. You can get in touch at nate.a.thompson@gmail.com
  • Kevin DeBernardi
    Designer turned developer, Kevin is embarking on a freelance web career after working as the in-house designer at the Museum of the City of New York. He's adept at translating his design ideas into custom PHP code, and is constantly expanding his technical palette. Kevin's a good choice for projects that don't quite fit into the Wordpress mold, and that would benefit from a consistency of presence and vision from design through execution. Kevin can be reached at kevin@analoglifestyle.com