Case Study: Why and How I Decided to Rebrand Germinate Creative, Part 2

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In this 2 part blog post, I’ll show you why Germinate Creative has undergone a rebrand. The last post talked about why I changed things up. Here’s how I did it, and how to know if you might be ready for a change, too.

Last week’s blog post  left off with my creative brief and mood board in hand. With those on the ready, I had the map to move forward with my design.

The logo and visual elements needed to be simple, fresh, and vibrant. They also needed to have a sophisticated look that was professional, yet approachable. These descriptors came from the creative brief that summarized all the useful information behind what my business is. Along with the brief I drafted a mood board that contained inspiration for my project’s personal ingredients: typography, photography, illustration, color, and hierarchy.

With creative brief and mood board in hand, I started to design.

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Designing and refining.
First came the logo. I took my time picking the right colors and typography. Part of my core message is work that is vibrant, yet right on the details. With this in mind, I defined a color palette to be vibrant and robust with a main set of colors for business cards and correspondence, and another set of colors to use on other visual elements such as illustrations or marketing materials.

Since type choice is a central concern in brand identity I took my time finding the right typeface. I am enamored with type, constantly fussing and crafting it to be just right. I found a typeface that has a dependable, classical style, but also comes with contemporary features that feel fresh and friendly. With that, I found a typeface that struck the perfect tone for my brand and my personality.

In a way, it was easy to create the logo. I had done inquisitive work in the research stage that resulted in a strong creative brief. As I designed the logo, I always went back to the brief to make sure I was staying on track. Is this meeting my brand attributes? Does it reflect my mission? Check, and check.

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Launch.
Then it was a matter of launching the brand with business cards and a new website. The website came first. I brought in a web developer early on in my web design process to make sure my site would not only look beautiful, but function correctly. I used illustrations throughout the site to clarify my content, and to make things fun and fresh. The overall backdrop of the site was kept simple to help showcase the variety and depth of my work.

On the back end of the site, the web developer created a custom management system  so I could easily add portfolio pieces, blog posts, and change copy on any section of the site. As I trickled the brand identity design down to my business card, I worked with a great local printer that delivered great cards within my budget.

Now that I’m at the finish line, the overall process of launching a rebrand was far more pleasurable than I’d expected. I’m all the more excited to share this process with my clients. I’ll admit, when this began it was a bit scary. But with the structure of my process, and the need to launch a new brand, it was well worth doing.

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What about you?
Enough about me! Let’s chat about you. If you’re an existing company, how do you know if the time is right to rebrand? If you’re a startup, when is the right time to start crafting your visual language? Consider this:

  • Has your organization been around a while? Does your logo meet the current needs of your vision and strategy? Sometimes well-established businesses will restrategize with a new vision. When that happens, the old logo and brand does not reflect what these changes are.
  • Did you work with a designer on your logo and website? Or did you quickly put these together yourself to get something published? Most of the time when businesses do this, they always want to reinvent that original logo since it may not feel professional, sophisticated, and long-lasting.
  • Does your brand identity reflect who you are? Does it visually speak to your business descriptors?
  • If you’re a new business, it can never be too early to think about branding. Have you thought about how your new business will speak visually?
  • Was your logo and brand identity designed with an old trend in mind? Be honest with yourself. Will this stand the test of time?

If anything in these blog series piqued your interest, you might be ready for a change. Branding may be more affordable than you think. If you want guidance in answering these questions, or want to learn more about my design methodology, just ask. Speaking from my own personal experience, a big ‘ole change might just be what you need. And, guess what: you might even enjoy the process.

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Client Kudos

I would 100% work with Maria again, and do so with enthusiasm!  Not only is she easy to work with, but she’s strategic and thoughtful. She has helped me at Prichard on several design projects and all have been successful. She worked really hard to create sustainable designs that we can work with for many years. Maria is also one of those rare vendors who always goes the extra mile and doesn’t mind being pushed outside of her comfort zone with my wacky ideas. I highly recommend Maria for your small business or nonprofit design project. You’ll be so happy you hired her!

Jennie D.B., Award Winning Communications Strategist