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Case Study: Landis + Evans Logo Redesign

The choice to rebrand a company is a tough one. There are many factors to consider, including SEO on the current name, the company history, and recognition by existing clients and the industry. Even though it may seem like a monumental move, in our experience it has always worked out beautifully. Landis + Evans was no exception. With lots of planning and thoughtful consideration on their part and some sleek design on our part, the results were a modern, polished logo suite that brought.

Rebranding

After going through an internal renaming process, Landis + Evans’ marketing director asked us to help redesign their logo. The original was clearly outdated; even the colors were lackluster and needed refreshed. However, the new leadership wanted to keep certain elements of the old logo to maintain the legacy of the original company. This included the colors, so we had to work those in to the new color palette somehow.

This is the original logo. The client wanted to keep the blue and green, plus incorporate the “S” shape into the new logo.

Logo Redesign

Our designer started by toying with the “S” path-like shape in a variety of ways, incorporating some fresh new blues and greens to replace the loud, brash blue and green from the original logo. During the discovery meeting, we heard words like energy, professionalism, dependability, quality, stability, innovation, long-established, expertise, diverse experience, results, timeliness. The client also said, “we make our clients look good, give them trust and confidence, and we make their job easier.” It’s key phrases like these that we keep in mind during the logo design process.

We also keep in mind major competitors, current clients and projects, and the industry as a whole. After the discovery meeting, the resulting logo sketches went through a couple rounds of revisions to get to the final suite shown above.

Logo design is both an art and a science, so we must toe the line between the two in order to create marks that define companies and usher them into the future. This is why we have so many steps to the process. A good bit of discussion and research is involved in the initial phases (the science part), before we get to the sketching and color palette (the art part).

Pinstripe has worked with companies, large and small, to develop the perfect icon for their brands. Contact us if you are considering rebranding – we can help you with every step of the process.

Marketing Maintenance: Update or Redesign Your Website

website-redesign

by Nikki Bromley, Director of Account Management

Have you been putting off updating your website because you’ve been too busy? Now is the perfect time to tackle that project. More people are spending time online and you need to be prepared for this influx of traffic with a refreshed or brand new website.

We’ve all experienced the effects of seasonal slowdowns or periods of lighter business activities. These quieter business days do not have to be unproductive. It’s a great time to review your website to see what updates you can make. You can also revisit a website project you’ve been wanting to tackle.

Updating Your Website

Have a website professional perform an audit. It’s good to have a new set of eyes on your website, especially a professional who knows the hallmarks of good website design. Whatever your industry, a website pro can assess whether or not your website is working toward your business goals. Below are some questions to ask yourself and things to consider when revamping your website design.

Search Engine Optimization

  • Have you completed an SEO audit in the last year? Take a look at the backend of your website and your content.
  • Is your content being updated regularly?
  • Are your headings and content properly assigned?
  • Are you publishing content on other websites or blogs?
  • How are you receiving linkbacks, if any?
  • Do you have any social media accounts or digital marketing campaigns that are feeding traffic to your site? If so, have you assessed them lately? 

Navigation – Menus and Pages

  • Are the menus and pages logical and easy to navigate?
  • Is it simple to get back to the home page?

Have someone else click through your site. Did they end up on pages that they had no idea how they arrived at? Did they find what they were looking for? You could even poll some customers to define the user experience better.

Mobile Responsive

  • Does the design look and feel right on a phone or is it outdated and difficult to navigate? Can it be viewed on an average sized cell phone?
  • Are the calls to action mobile responsive? The call button should automatically dial your designated phone number when someone taps it. The email button should automatically pop up an email to your designated address when someone taps it. These are just a few things that are necessary for proper mobile responsiveness in a website.

Overall Look

  • Simplicity is best. Large, clean photos should illustrate what your business does but not overcrowd the page.
  • Iconography helps users easily find what they are looking for and breaks up large blocks of copy.
  • Headings (H1, H2, H3) should be used appropriately throughout the website. They are incredibly important for search engine optimization (SEO). Not only do headings help define content sections, they make each page easier to view, because information is easier to find.
  • Clean layouts with little fuss are best, especially for professional services websites. Animations, auto-play music, and other “frills” actually take away from the user’s experience. Don’t make the mistake of thinking “more is better.”

Content Assessment – Copy, Videos, Infographics, and Blogs

  • When was the last time you reviewed your website’s content? Is it still relevant to your business, your industry, and current website trends?
  • Has a marketing professional ever reviewed and assessed your content?
  • Do you have videos on your website?
  • Is there too much or too little information on your website?
  • Is the content broken into digestible blocks with clear calls to action?
  • Are you updating your content regularly? Do you have a blog? This also fits into the category of SEO.

Assess Calls to Action

  • Is there a Call to Action on every page? You need to give the visitor every opportunity to take action, whether that’s a phone call, an email, or an online form.
  • Have you tried AB testing different colors or phrasing for your Calls to Action? This is a great way to make sure you are getting the most out of them.
  • Are your Calls to Action clear? Make sure users can easily understand your Calls to Action. Here, again, we want to be simple and to the point – no fancy language or poetics.

If it’s been more than 5 years since you invested in your website, chances are you will need a complete website overhaul. Perhaps you find that you only need or want updates to a few aspects of the website to get it working for you. Whatever your particular needs are, connect with the Pinstripe Marketing website design and development team. We’ll review your website and make recommendations on how to get it to achieve your goals and win more business.

Marketing Maintenance: Perfect Time for a Fresh, New Look

You may know that there’s something wrong with your brand identity, but can’t quite put your finger on it. It could be something that just cosmetic, or it could be something that goes much deeper.

Refresh Versus Rebrand

It takes years to build your brand identity, and you want to be able to maintain its integrity. Lots of hard work and late nights are as much a part of that identity as your logo. But, you know there’s a problem when potential or existing customers no longer gravitate toward your brand. You may need a simple refresh to show your vitality or a complete rebrand to focus on new markets.

Refresh – It all starts with your logo. You’ve seen the big companies, like Coca-Cola and Pepsi (logo progression seen above) or IBM and AT&T, slightly adjust the look and feel of their logos to fit the current trends and styles. They know that a logo can’t stay relevant forever. Now, think back to when your logo was made. The trends and styles influenced its design during that time, and could be outdated if it was many years ago:

  • Color Gradients
  • Multiple Images
  • Insensitive Symbols
  • Ornate Fonts

Older styles have a difficult time translating to digital media. The nuance gets lost, resulting in a dated look and feel.

Updating your logo requires cosmetic adjustments that symbolize your identity today. Modern design is all about thoughtful simplicity. A brand refresh allows your logo to evolve with your business. And, it’s much more than just your logo. Here are some things to consider that won’t break your budget:

  • Logo – change in color or minor touch-ups.
  • Business Name – change in font.
  • Presentations – updated with a new look and feel.
  • Business Stationery – reflects the new look.
  • Website – easier to navigate and understand at a glance.

All of your sales materials, letterhead, business cards, and digital media get the same type of spa treatment.

Rebrand – Have you recently purchased another company? Had a merger? Or has your business model and market strategy changed? If you said yes, then everything about your current brand identity may say very little about your company. A rebrand can create that distance between old and new.

Repositioning your brand can be a significant reboot of your identity, which requires dramatic changes to your visual identity. It’s also a change in messaging. There may be a new story to tell one that’s new and exciting.

  • New Mission
  • Corporate Narrative
  • More Services
  • Expanding Network
  • Professional Image

Because of these changes, your current brand is no longer sustainable, and to hold on to it any longer may cause negative brand equity. Rebranding your business is a way of looking into the future to see what your brand can be. Here are some major things to consider:

  • Investigating New Markets – business intelligence to understand target market demographics, psychographics, and historical trends.
  • Increasing Visibility – being the new kid on the block requires strategic ad spending.
  • Content Strategies – develop a narrative that fits the company’s mission and vision.
  • Social Media Campaigns – build customer engagement and loyalty over professional platforms.
  • Community Outreach – show the world that you care about where you live.
  • Business Networks – increase the reach and depth of your resources through more reliable connections.

Each of these requires the proper marketing materials to leave a lasting impression and remain front of mind when they need your services. The time and financial investments that you make toward a rebrand will pay off for years to come.

The current business environment has given us more time to capitalize on opportunities to grow our brand. This is the perfect time to update your brand identity. Some of the projects listed above can take a substantial amount of time, so they will be ready to launch when everything has recovered. At Pinstripe, we are experts in building the perfect brand identity. We have helped some of the biggest corporations in the Tampa Bay area with their rebranding. We can help you refresh your brand so that it connects with your audience. Contact us today to develop and execute a successful plan.

Quick Tip: Brand Guidelines Begin with Internal Rollout

brand style guide_featured

by Michael Premo, Content Strategist

Graphic designers and the marketing department aren’t the only ones that need to know how to steer your brand in the right direction. If you want to maintain your brand’s integrity, you need to start from within.

 

Maintaining Brand Identity

You already know that your brand is more than just your logo and tagline. It represents your entire organization, which is why we develop guidelines to keep it coherent. Any email, billboard or radio spot that steps outside your guidelines can have a negative effect on your brand identity.

  • Consistency – Because each impression counts, your brand needs to be memorable and easy to recall. Even minor changes to your brand can mislead your audience.
  • Authenticity – Any change to your brand may alter its meaning. When this happens, even as a joke or for a funny meme, it may get you into legal trouble.
  • Professionalism –When you don’t follow the guidelines, your presentations look like student projects. We call this the “Microsoft Paint Effect” because very few good things come from MS Paint.

 

The Problem Is Internal

Employees in search of creativity should leave your brand alone. To exercise their creative muscles, they should be encouraged to join an art class or build their own brand to be showcased on their personal Wix site.

Perhaps they don’t understand why the colors and typography of your communications need to always be the same—always. It’s time you educate them, and here are some quick tips on how.

Brand Awareness Survey

This will bring your fellow employees into the process of maintaining your brand guidelines. Your survey should ask several things:

  • Brand awareness – You need to gauge what they know and don’t know.
  • Current Messaging – Are they aware of what the current messaging is?
  • Satisfaction – Does the brand work for their role in the company?
  • Workarounds – Do they ever create brand workarounds? Why?
  • Suggestions – How can our brand identity be improved?

Make It an Event

An event will get more people engaged, especially if it’s fun. You can discuss the results of your survey and have a Q & A session. Yes, this requires an investment, but think of it as an ounce of prevention. Fewer mistakes mean fewer problems and lost opportunities with clients.

Distribute the Guidelines

You can send frequent internal emails that focus on the most common mistakes people make regarding your brand. Each email should direct everyone to have a copy of the guidelines or a link with quick access to them. Brand-specific templates should also be available for anything from email signatures to PowerPoint presentations. For your initiative to be effective, it has to extend beyond the guidelines.

Departmental Brand Playbook

Because your guidelines can be a hundred pages or more, you can work with each department to have specific playbooks that are relevant to their workflow, but not specific to any individual position in the company. Only the designers need to use the technical specifications for your logo. Besides, quick reference guides take less time and energy to use, so in theory, more people will use them.

Be Available to Help

If it’s outside their playbook, you need to be available to help them. Create an FAQ section in your guidelines for quick references and have an open door policy. This will keep them from feeling like the guidelines are too strict and not allowing them to do their job.

 

Brand Integrity Can Be Fragile

Anyone that touches your brand, internally or externally, has the potential to misuse it. If you really think about it, this makes your brand fragile. So, if you want to protect it and your company’s brand identity, you need to start where it has the most touch.

“Consider the brand’s custodians by establishing the full picture for the brand in a detailed style guide that clearly states every type of media it will go on. Creating guidelines for the brand in case it gets passed on, will help protect the it from misuse by other designers and non-designers who get to work with it, keeping the brand consistent,” says Evie Larson, Pinstripe Marketing Creative Director.

Larson developed the following gorgeous visual brand style guide for MFM Legal that contains design guidance covering many elements such as logo, color, composition, photography and typography. This guide follows our recommendations for style guides.

 

Pinstripe understands how businesses manage their brand guidelines. We recently helped a multinational, multi-billion dollar business refresh their brand identity, as well as maintain their brand integrity. Contact us to learn how we can develop your brand guidelines to be more consistent—to look more professional.

Rebranding? Let’s Talk About Your Logo

by Michael Premo, Content Strategist

Every company, from Fortune 500 to a small family-owned business, goes through a period when their brand needs a new look—a brand refresh. It’s such a major undertaking that often gets delayed until it starts hurting the bottom line. That’s how powerful your logo is. People associate your products and services with it on both conscious and subconscious levels.

Your logo does a lot of heavy lifting. It appears on everything, from letterhead to sales decks to trade show booths. Think of it as the cornerstone of your brand. So, it should be eye-catching, memorable, and work well for large formats or small print.

 

Three Major Aspects of a Logo

To bring your logo to the next level, it needs to answer the following questions:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • How?
  • Why?

It should also reflect your company’s mission and vision for the future. This takes time and energy. It’s not something that can be done overnight, plus it will take several rounds of revisions to get it right.

 

To get you started with your brand refresh, start thinking about these three major qualities of your logo:

Color Does Matter

Researchers have spent a lot of time on how people are affected by color and color theory. You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this, just know that it exists and it matters (the Pinstripe creative team knows this stuff inside and out).

Colors that are analogous or complementary will create the most impact. How they do this is through the power of communication. The right colors provide contrasts to make an object stand out, which immediately grabs our attention. A great example of this is the FedEx logo: purple and orange on a white background (Did you know that between the “Ex” is an arrow?).

There’s also the psychology of color and its significance in our everyday lives. Let’s take purple as an example. Purple is a symbol of nobility and luxury. It signifies power and ambition. The “Fed” in FedEx is purple, showing the power of the federal government.

Another color, green, is about health, wealth, growth and safety. We are seeing greens being utilized in more banking and investment firms than ever.

As you can see, color goes beyond what you like or the latest trends. To make your logo timeless, brainstorm with your creative team to come up with color combinations that speak to your mission and vision.

The Font

To be unique and clever, you’ll need to distinguish your brand from your competitors. Using a simple yet eye-catching font can achieve this. Some brands have custom made fonts, such as Coca-Cola, whereas Target uses Helvetica (a very common font). It’s all in the presentation of the name, so you’ll need to be flexible.

Like Coca-Cola, your logo can be the name of your business, also called logotype. There are strong fonts available that represent your brand personality and send the right signals to potential clients. You also want to find something that will last, while remaining open to simple changes to fit the times. Just remember that keeping it simple is the best option. Again, the creative team that works on your rebranding campaign will guide you in font selection.

Symbols, Meaning and Motion

A symbol or picture can be a representation of your brand—the who, what, how and why. This is where negative space is a big help. Negative or blank space keeps the logo clean and makes it clever. You can introduce shapes as another way to help your logo maintain a professional look. Two of the most common are squares and circles. Many law and accounting firms place their names within a rectangle to show honesty and stability.

A symbol can also provide motion, such as the Nike swoosh or the Amazon arrow that looks like a smile, too. These act as metaphors for what the brands do. Turning a circle into a sphere will give it motion. The teardrop in Cott Corporations’ logo also shows movement. All of these are important if you want to show your audience the meaning of your company.

 

A Logo That Establishes Relationships

As you can see, bringing all of these elements together into one logo is very important. And, it’s important to remember that it needs to be balanced and flexible enough to scale without any issues. The logo should have positive symmetry and appear balanced in any configuration. It should also be visible and readily identifiable in black and white.

“We can explain the “how” all day; how color, font, and form come together to create a powerful logo, but ultimately you need to leave it up to your creative professionals like Pinstripe Marketing to design and color your mark. You do not want to DIY something like this, it’s just too important and the design process is too specialized to have your niece do it for free or even have your in-house designer whip something up. Logo development is a very strategic process,” says Nikki Devereux, Director of Account Management at Pinstripe Marketing.

Pinstripe has helped local and nationally-based businesses with their logo. We specialize in discovering their traits—their corporate character—and putting them on display. Our creative team consists of listeners and discoverers that have an innate ability to help you achieve your vision. Contact us to tell us more about your company and the logo you envision.