renovating brand

What the hell is a brand renovation? It isn't a new term but one you don't hear about as much as branding or rebranding. Well we are in the process of renovating or refreshing our brand here at our tiny lil' arts org. 

It seems like maybe the hole we fell in when we created our very timely and trendy logo was a wide one that lots of organizations may have fallen into. But before I get into that...

So this refreshing or renovation is not like rebranding in that we are not changing our messaging (thought we ought to) or our voice, our programs, our audience or our mission. We ought to, but it seems like it isn't a good time until we figure out what our programs should be based on the needs of our constituents.

That being said, the things we need to fix:

Our logo has too many parts. As do all of these logos. The MAAF is a perfect example. Split that pup in two and you have 2 great logos. Southern Arts has lots of S's.

Our logo has a timely, but not a timeless look. The red black logo. The splatter font. The condensed font. The checkerboard thing. Bad. Bad. Bad.

And don't get me started on font. Each one of these logos has 2 different fonts. Arts Midwest has 3! Brush script with bold lowercase and a monospaced all caps! What!

I could go on but here are my goals for this project:

1. It looks good in reverse, any color, and black and white. We have traveling exhibitions and different programs that in a sense have their own brand. So if I am doing an exhibition about the Hudson River painters and need to make our logo dark green, or a Sister Corita exhibition and make it hot pink, I want to be able to do that. Instead of being the red and white logo, or the multicolored logo, or the navy logo, we are known as the anything logo.

2. BUT to accomplish this, this new logo shape has to be powerful, strong, easily recognizable and extraordinarily unique. Take color out of the equation of color + font + shape = logo. That means font and shape must be strong, must be conceptual and smart, and must say everything about you.

3. Speaking of fonts. One font. So on any given piece of material we only have 2 fonts. And the logo should be able to stand on its own without a font. I do think NEFA does a great job of this.

Well, I have been doing quick 4 minute logos, printing them and throwing them into a basket. We are going to take these and identify some characteristics and just keep hacking away till we get there. Stay tuned for some more process updates!