An Introduction to Soil Health Practices

Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership’s (ISAP) mission is “to create a network to support a systems approach to improve soil health and reduce nutrient loss.” Considering the knowledge many of ISAP’s target audience already has regarding soil health, we were eager to take on the challenge of condensing such a wide range of information into an easy-to-follow, introductory guidebook. 

A project this big takes a lot of collaboration, research, and most importantly, strategy:

Beneath the Surface

To ease the viewing process for the reader, we combined elements such as color, icons, and textured imagery to help breakup and categorize detailed information. 

We made use of ISAP brand colors to help the reader distinguish between chapters, types of highlighted copy, and to keep infographics looking consistent throughout the guidebook. 

A wide variety of icons were needed in order to both organize highlighted copy and accurately represent a variety of advanced soil terminology. When designing this icon library, it was essential that we kept in mind style consistency, readability, scalability, and accuracy. 

To highlight key facts and quotations, we used consistent textured imagery to break-up content into distinct sections and pages.

Keeping it Simple

When going about designing the 18 graphs and charts in this guidebook, the only way to start was by asking ourselves a series of questions:

  • How can we best highlight each bit of information in an accurate, consistent manner?
  • What elements of ISAP’s branding can we pull into each graph? 
  • How can we appropriately size each graph to fit on their perspective pages? 
  • Which instances are better to illustrate an image versus using a real image? 

Each graph required a detailed case-by-case run-through of all these questions and more.

Thank you to the ISAP staff for all you do to promote sustainable farming practices for soil health and water restoration in Illinois! Check out more of what ISAP does at and download your own Soil Health Guidebook here!