Gorilla Doctors

Andrea Cannistra
Andrea Cannistra
Published in
3 min readNov 1, 2017


Gorilla Doctors is an international nonprofit organization that is dedicated to conserving mountain and eastern lowland gorillas using hands-on care in the wild.


As an international nonprofit organization, Gorilla Doctors needed an online presence that would drive donations to help their cause and inform the public of their mission. Their site had a wide variety of content from articles, publications, doctor profiles, and even spanned several continents. The site they had was not responsive and also had become encumbered by the sheer amount of content they had.


Gorilla Doctors are on a mission and telling the audience the story was very important to them. The layout of the site was designed to offer a lot of options for displaying content. There are icons, copy blocks, interactive maps, animations, lots of large imagery, and varying styles of typography.

As applications on tablets and mobile devices become more and more prominent in daily life, we are more inclined to use the web as if it were a game. That was my inspiration for effectively displaying all the amazing informational content, statistics, and graphics that the client came to me with. I took all of those numbers and created animations and interactive infographics to bring life to the data. The gorillas live in various parts of Africa, so I used SVG maps to highlight and bring awareness to the different locations.

The main purpose of the Gorilla Doctors’ website was to inform the audience, receive donations, and offer orphan guardianships. Their logo used a warm gray and a bright green that played together nicely. We decided to add orange to the palette to stand out from the photography and mimic the intense sunsets of the African landscapes. Shades of warm gray are incorporated throughout to bring a richness to the site that exudes from the gorillas themselves.

Gorilla Doctors provided me with gorgeous photography and that was a huge driver in determining my final design for the site. It was a privilege to dive deep into the gorillas’ worlds through imagery and I wanted to share that with the audience by featuring the gorillas throughout the site using full width headers and an image-heavy sub-navigation.


Gorilla Doctors has increased worldwide brand awareness and higher search engine conversion. Informed donors are active donors, and the staff are able to update their blog and news more efficiently and keep everyone informed on their mission of conserving and protecting the mountain and eastern lowland gorillas.