The Riverkeeper’s New Logo

Today, April 5, 2013, Spokane Riverkeeper launches a new logo.  An image revolution aimed at propelling Riverkeeper in to a new era of working on a Swimmable and Fishable Spokane River!


I’m beyond thrilled to introduce to you all the new Spokane Riverkeeper logo!

It’s been a long time coming, and I’m happy to roll it out during this season of new, fresh beginnings.


So what do you think?

Here at Riverkeeper we’re stoked for how it all turned out and what this represents.

Keep in mind this is going to be a soft roll out and transition.  Like coming up with a logo design itself, we aren’t budgeting any kind of new materials.  So you’ll still see the old logo on business cards, brochures and other items as we slowly transition away from it.  And you can help us.  If you see the old Riverkeeper logo on websites, accounts or other materials that we haven’t switched out yet, let us know.  We’d appreciate it.  Now on with the story.

New Riverkeeper logo, created by Thinking Cap -
New Riverkeeper logo, created by Thinking Cap –

When the Riverkeeper program launched out of the Center For Justice in 2009, we did so building off the great work previously done by Center For Justice staff on the Spokane River Project.  Rick Eichstaedt, now the Executive Director of the Center, made the proposal to Waterkeeper Alliance in 2009, and was accepted that same year,  becoming Spokane’s first Riverkeeper.  During the infancy stage of Riverkeeper, Rick knew the importance of branding and growing the visibility of the Riverkeeper program, while keeping it anchored to the legacy of great work of the Center and housed institutional knowledge of the Spokane River and this great community.

I came on board at the Center in 2010, replacing Rick as Riverkeeper.  I’ve made it my goal to continue to stand on the shoulders of those before me and progress the important work started prior to my time here, meanwhile growing and evolving the program in a sustainable and effective way.  The reality is, we’re a much different organization now than we were four years ago.  Sure, we haven’t grown much in terms of bodies in the office, the Riverkeeper program is still just one full-time dedicated person, but we’re much more efficient and effective in our work and can easily explain who we are and what we do.  Basically, we can nail our elevator speech now.

But in all seriousness, we’ve grown.  You’ve grown.

You expect a lot more out of us now.  We know it, you know it, other stakeholders in the Spokane River know it.  It took awhile, but this program has really found its footing.

This new logo and re-branding furthers that.  It leaps us forward in to a new era, our fourth year of working to realize a Swimmable and Fishable Spokane River.

Having said all of that, this doesn’t just happen overnight.  Almost a year ago, myself and then Development Director Shawna Sampson began conversations with Marvo Reguindin, the president of Thinking Cap, a local advertising and graphic design company, about coming up with a new Riverkeeper logo.  Thinking Cap had previously designed our Riverkeeper brochure, and had done miscellaneous projects for us over the years.  I had always been a huge fan of their work, and their approach.

My main goal for a new logo was one that would solve some problems I’d had with the original logo, which is that it was hard to recognize when reduced to a small size, and that it was oriented horizontally.  More stylistically, I wanted a clear representation of our main goal, which is a clean Spokane River.  I’m confident Thinking Cap got this.  It took several months and many variations and alternative logos later, but I couldn’t be more happy with where we landed.

We hope you like it as much as we like it.  But more importantly, we hope our excitement about something as seemingly unimportant as a new logo, shows you how committed we are to the work we and to Riverkeeper’s vision.  A Swimmable and Fishable Spokane River is in our sight.  It’s time to get back to work.  What do you say, care to join us?


Here is a press release that went out this afternoon:


Spokane Riverkeeper launches a new logo


For Immediate Release
April 5, 2013


Contact: Bart Mihailovich, Spokane Riverkeeper (509)835.5211 or [email protected]


Bart 2 Shirt
Spokane Riverkeeper Bart Mihailovich takes the new Riverkeeper logo on its maiden voage to the Spokane River


Bart Mihailovich, Spokane’s Riverkeeper had a branding problem. The waterfall graphic at the end of their logo was only recognizable in large applications and did not reproduce well in a smaller scale.  But more than that, the Riverkeeper program was looking for a new, fresh logo to propel them to a new era of working to protect the Spokane River.


The requirements for the new logo were to;

  • incorporate water and fish to symbolize the health of the river
  • to be fresh and fun to move Spokane Riverkeeper forward
  • come up with a cleaner design that would also be better recognized when reduced small
  • to use the established and trademarked Waterkeeper Alliance logo font
  • that a stacked, rectangle or square format was preferred, and
  • the logo also needed to be approved by Waterkeeper Alliance


With no budget for this project, Bart turned to Thinking Cap, a local advertising and graphic design company that had designed the Riverkeeper Brochure. Thinking Cap agreed to design the new logo pro-bono through their graphic design internship program. Two Eastern Washington University Visual Communication Majors had the opportunity to work on the logo during consecutive quarters.

“Both interns did great work, and explored designs requests from me, the staff and the board. In the end, the final logo was a design combination from both students and I’m thrilled with the new logo.” says Bart Mihailovich.

According to Thinking Cap’s president, Marvo Reguindin, these are the types opportunities he looks for when taking in a graphic design intern. We only do pro-bono work for non-profit organizations and it allows Thinking Cap to give back to the community on so many different levels.

“I absolutely love the work Thinking Cap has done for us, both with this new logo and in the past with our brochure and other projects,” said Mihailovich.  “Thinking Cap is the Riverkeeper’s image keeper.”

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