31 Aug Putting your best face forward
Rebranding can be intimidating — for many, the word conjures up images of huge agency bills, breathless whispers about the golden ratio and far too many meetings. When executed correctly, a rebrand can help freshen up a brand’s presence, focused on what’s new and signaling fresh ideas. We’re often called on to help our clients reimagine their visual identities, and we enjoy the creative opportunity, especially when it’s for something close to our hearts.
A Community Pillar’s New Shine
The Beth-El Center — a nonprofit shelter and soup kitchen located in Milford, CT — was looking to communicate more regularly with their valued volunteers and supporters across many channels. Led by executive Director Jennifer Paradis, Beth-El Center’s mission is to extend dignity and respect to all individuals and families while connecting them to housing, food and services within their communities. Honoring a proud 30-year history of working to eliminate homelessness and hunger, Jen and her team have ambitious plans for the future.
The existing logo was not only dated, but only existed in a low-resolution JPEG file. Onward’s mission — freshen up a familiar logo for the beloved center, with a new mark that at once represented the proud past and future plans. The logo would also be updated to feature the new tagline — Where everyone is home and all are fed.
After discussions with staff and board members about what was most important in a new logo, we set to work. The design team began the rebrand with a new logo to revamp Beth-El’s image, keeping what worked best about the existing mark: the concept of a strong roof and an inviting, welcoming light.
We presented several concepts without color, the team settled on a favorite, which was then augmented with a fresh, modern color palette and some simple guidelines that were easy to follow for staff and volunteers at all levels. We were even able to provide video bumpers for their growing video efforts.
Within just a few weeks, the team had a new logo, in several formats, that was ready to help spread the word of the good work happening in the community.
What are the rules to creating a great logo?
- Simplicity: A great logo is simple and easily recognizable. Whenever possible, it should be able to convey the spirit of the brand.
- Distinctiveness: Your logo should be memorable and unique.
- Timelessness: It’s easy to get caught up in design trends, but logos tend to stick around for a long time. Think longevity!
- Personality: The logo should reflect brand’s values, identity and core message.
- Versatility: A successful logo should work across mediums and applications. From digital applications to business cards, packaging, or promotional materials, it should maintain its visual impact and clarity. The logo should look also look great at different sizes.
Color also plays a vital role in a logo’s effectiveness. Colors evoke emotions and can influence how the brand is perceived. A well-thought-out color palette should align with the brand’s personality and target audience. Adobe has a great article on the use of color in a brand’s identity.
Why brand guidelines?
When a nonprofit organization or business decides to undergo a rebrand, there are 5 reasons why it is important to create specific brand guidelines.
- Consistency: Consistency makes your brand recognizable and reliable. It also communicates that your brand takes notice of details.
- Setting Standards: Brand guidelines are composed of rules on how to use the brand’s visual elements. These rules include things such as when to use a logo, the type of typography or fonts to use, and specific color palette to be used for material for the brand. Brand guidelines are a valuable tool for employees and clients to keep your brand cohesive when creating advertisements, infographics, web pages, etc.
- Recognition: Brand consistency allows you to be more immediately recognized within your industry and with your intended audience.
- Value: Consistency helps a brand to appear more professional and reliable, thus increasing its value. By utilizing brand guidelines, it’s easier to maintain the quality and integrity of the brand’s image.
- Focus: By determining the brand’s focus, it prevents the brand from doing too much. When a brand begins to offer too many new things at once, it can become overwhelming for the public and easy to lose sight of the brand’s main mission. However, with brand guidelines, there are tools in place to maintain consistency. Brand guidelines help to aim a nonprofit or business’s interests to the target audience.
Creating Isn’t Intimidating
If you’re thinking of creating a new logo, or refreshing the identity of your company, to borrow a phrase: just do it. While it’s important to be consistent and not to constantly change your image, a refresh doesn’t have to be a big undertaking, especially with the experience of our creative team on your side. We excel at creating quick, comprehensive rebranding specific to who you are and everything the future holds.