Case StudyShareable Online Community
Sharing, or "Collaborative Consumption" as some call it, is one of the most exciting trends of this decade — for sustainability and for human happiness. We're proud to have designed the brand at the heart of this movement, with true visionaries and a foundation willing to take a stand.
Recession, a collapsing job market, an environmental crisis looming, yet educator and activist Will Watman was optimistic about the future.
Watman had spent decades on college campuses and seen students live with virtually no income, no car, a tiny bedroom and few possessions. And they were having the time of their lives. Why? Because they shared everything — living spaces, meals, resources — and it allowed these students to lead a highly satisfying, low-impact existence. If we could mainstream this lifestyle, thought Watman, we might begin to shift society from hyper-consumption to something far more sustainable and enjoyable.
The Schecter Family Foundation agreed and came to Free Range with a challenge. “Give us an idea we can fund,” they said. “Something that will move sharing from a bland kindergarten value to a trend that is sexy, desirable and viral.”
So we invented Shareable.net, an online lifestyle magazine designed to tap into a global sharing movement that was powerful, yet unnamed. Shareable would help glorify it, turbo-charge it and solidify it. As we declared in the Brand Story Manifesto:
“We started sharing our social networks and Facebook was born. Sharing our rides got us Zipcar. We shared our videos, our code, our wealth, our up-to-the-minute status updates and our hopes for change and got YouTube, Open Source, microfinance, Twitter and the first African American president. All of a sudden, for something to be valuable, it has to be shareable.
Shareable.net isn’t here to spark this revolution. It already has unstoppable momentum. We’re here to tell its unfolding story, to celebrate it and most of all, to share access to it with each other.”
We didn’t just give the Schecter Foundation an idea they could fund, we inspired them to launch a whole new social media–centric organization. We designed its budget, its brand, its technological infrastructure and even helped to recruit its Executive Director, Neal Gorenflo, who also helped write the grant. We turned Watman’s optimism into an institution that has accomplished exactly what it set out to do — amplify sharing as a powerful cultural trend.
Today, Shareable is the hub for this widely-recognized movement. More than 40,000 individuals visit monthly. Fast Company featured the site as the meeting place for new lifestyle enthusiasts. Its articles and books are regularly quoted in mass media (like the New York Times) and years after its launch, the organization is sustainable and thriving. According to Gorenflo: “Shareable was immediately accepted as authoritative because of the strength of the brand created by Free Range.”
Shareable tapped into our team’s deepest passion — our love of crafting new stories that lead to a better future. This story of sharing is still young and we’re proud Shareable is here to make sure it continues to take root.
We tested dozens, but we came back to our first and favorite. The name Shareable is simple, memorable and stands in for the highest good. For something to be valuable, it has to be shareable.
The brand was founded on three values — optimism, future-orientation and collaboration — which directly informed the mark we produced. The bright colors are modern and provide a sense of joy and play, while disparate parts of letterforms only create something meaningful when they are connected. By highlighting shared spaces through use of transparency we bring the idea of Shareable into focus.
Content-driven, intuitive and deeply integrated with social media, Shareable is designed to be shared with everyone in your network.
“There's nothing I like more than working on projects that don't just offer a problem statement but real breakthrough solutions. This project made me a total convert to sharing.”Jonah Sachs Co-Founder / CEO Profile
“Our creative team's skill was matched by the vision and smarts of the client, who pushed us every step of the way to challenge and improve each decision we made. The hard work was worth it, and it”Amy Hartzler Studio Director Profile