Rebranding: What It Is, How You Can Do It, and What It Can Do For You

rebranding word cloud

rebranding word cloud

Even the strongest brands eventually go through some type of an identity crisis. Maybe the audience you’ve been targeting for all these years no longer needs the product or service you offer. Maybe you suffered a bit of a setback from a public relations perspective and are looking for a way to start fresh. Rebranding involves a whole lot more than just putting a new coat of paint on an old house — it’s about getting rid of the old so you can make way for the new in the freshest and most impressive ways possible. If you’re in the process of rebranding or are even considering it, your marketing materials will always play an important role in the proceedings.

What is Rebranding?

At its core, rebranding involves starting out with a new marketing strategy that differentiates your current company identity (or the one you hope to have) from the one you had in the past. A brand new symbol, design, visual aesthetic, and even name can all be employed to help accomplish this goal.

How Can I Rebrand?

To begin the process of rebranding, you must first answer the question, “why are we doing this in the first place?” Once you’ve come up with a concrete answer, you need to always keep that in mind as a goal you hope to achieve. Your answer will dictate every decision you make from here on out.

Are you rebranding in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience? Your marketing materials, the logo you’re using, and even your design need to reflect that. Remember that your marketing materials were originally created with your brand in mind — every element, right down to the font being used in direct mailers, was picked because it accurately reflected the brand you were trying to present to the world at that given moment. If your brand is in the process of changing, there is no element of your marketing too small that won’t need to change along with it.

What Can Branding Do For You?

If you want an example of exactly what a successful rebranding campaign can do for your business, look no further than one of the biggest companies on the face of the Earth: Apple. It’s hard to remember a time when Apple as a corporation was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. That period wasn’t too long ago, however, and Apple was indeed in dire straits as recently as 1997.

Their successful rebranding took the world by storm when they went from “just another electronics company” that put out products many people considered overpriced, to the hippest, most forward-thinking tech company around. Apple’s rebranding campaign got rid of all the complicated terminology in favor of a simplistic campaign that reflected the products themselves. They focused on rebranding themselves as a company that put out reliable and endlessly classy products that “just worked” and have benefited handsomely from that decision ever since.

Look at rebranding for what it is: an opportunity to start fresh. There’s nothing wrong with rebranding — it is not an admission of failure or defeat. It’s a true chance to reaffirm your corporate identity with your goals and take the world by storm in a way more meaningful and more impactful than ever before.

Add Some Sparkle to Your Next Design With the Illustrator Symbolism Tool

Symbols are art objects that can be used multiple times in Adobe Illustrator documents. Imagine creating effortless, eye-catching designs simply by using typography, shapes, colors, and a few simple effects. That’s the power the symbolism tool provides. Using predesigned symbols will save you time and open doors to some very interesting techniques you can apply to your current design projects.
To get started with the symbolism tool, click the Windows tab located in the top menu bar and select Symbols. A new menu box designated just for symbols will appear. This is where you’ll find all of the preprogrammed symbols available to use. Existing symbols in the program’s library include symbols that lend themselves to nature, shapes, business, sports, and much more.
Open the Symbols Library and select the symbols you’d like to work with, then prepare to have some fun with the symbol sprayer tool. Select Symbol Sprayer from the Tools menu on the left-hand side of your screen.
Determine where you want your symbols to go, and simply click on that area of the canvas to add the selected symbols to your document.
Sure, you can click once and only have a single instance of the selected symbols appear, but the symbol sprayer is so much more fun than that! The sprayer works on your digital canvas similar to a can of spray paint. Click and hold your mouse button, and multiple instances of the same objects will appear. Move the cursor around the canvas to place the objects in different locations as the tool sprays. In a matter of seconds, your canvas will be covered in objects.
Placing symbols on the canvas is only the beginning. There’s so much more digital design fun to have with Illustrator’s symbolism tool. Other functions available when working with the symbolism tool include:
Working with Illustrator’s symbolism tool is fun and easy. It’s a great way to add a lot of life to a design without much time or effort. Imagine creating an ocean full of fish or a field full of butterflies almost instantly.
Just be careful. It’s easy to get carried away. So no matter what your design project calls for, keep the Illustrator symbolism tool in mind. It’s a secret weapon every designer should have in their arsenal.

Designing for Color-Blind Viewers

What does your design look like when viewed through the eyes of someone that’s color blind? Not everyone can see all colors, but they do need to be able to recognize what different colors can mean on some signs, particularly safety signs and notification signs. While accommodating color blind viewers is not yet a universal requirement to assist those with this disability, many countries do require such an accommodation. This means there is a precedent for constructing design work in this way.
If you are asked to design something for color blind viewers, it can be done. Here are some ways you can approach it.
Consider the different types of color blindness when preparing printed materials for this segment of the population:

Protanopia

Red, orange, and yellow don’t appear as brightly to these people. These colors may appear as black or gray to them. People with protanopia also have difficulty telling the difference between violet, blue, lavender, and purple.

Deuteranopia

People with deuteranopia cannot distinguish between red, yellow, and green. These colors all look the same to them. Unlike people with protanopia, however, they do not experience the colors appearing dimmer than they really are. They experience the full brightness of the colors they see.

If you’re not color blind, how can you experience what color blind viewers will experience? Photoshop can simulate that experience with these two proofing commands:
View > Proof Setup > Color Blindness – Protanopia Type
View > Proof Setup > Color Blindness – Deuteranopia Type
These commands allow you to see the way designs will look to people with the two types of color blindness listed above. Once you know how a color blind person will actually see your design, you can use all of the other Photoshop tools at your disposal to adjust the design as needed. This will help you design documents and signs that are truly viewer friendly to color blind people.
The most important thing to remember is that for most people with colorblindness, it is not so much distinguishing one color from another that is the problem, as it is differentiating between shades and brightness levels of similar colors. You can do your colorblind viewers a tremendous favor by making colors bright and never mixing gradients of shades of a color on a document or sign.
Another helpful thing for colorblind viewers is having some kind of visual texture, especially on infographics. If you are creating a graphic chart, for example, and it uses different colors, try putting some light or dark bands across some of the bars or pie wedges on your graph. Even if your colorblind users can’t distinguish the color, they will know what is what on the chart by the visual textures.
Finally, try to avoid using any signage that requires identification of something by color alone. This is a popular design trend that many people think makes things simpler, but it is a nightmare for colorblind viewers. Always include some kind of accompanying text, so if a colorblind person can’t distinguish a color, they can always read the words.
Public signs are the most common types that need color distinction to convey messages, although some private signs may rely on this, as well. Keep the differences in mind on how color blind people view various colors, whether they can see those colors at all, and how those color perceptions will impact their ability to interpret the print. Use this knowledge to design the print appropriately, and your buyer will be satisfied.

Open Arms of a Gatefold Will Grab More Attention

The open arms of a gatefold will grab more attention, pulling a target audience into what you have to say. When we say “grab,” we mean the pages will literally unfold out of the magazine wide enough to reach out and grab the attention of many readers. Okay, maybe not literally, but the gatefold does open up wide enough to display large, panoramic images.A gatefold is a printed sheet that is made with four panels and is commonly placed within publications as a means of increasing overall printing space.
The left and right panels of the printed sheet fold inward with parallel folds, meeting at the center of the publication without overlapping. Six panels (three on the front and three on the back) are created with a standard gatefold as shown below:
Eight panels (four on the front and four on the back) result from using a “closed gatefold” format, which adds one more fold at the center of the document:
Of course if you flip through a magazine you will be greeted by a gatefold or two, however it does not mean that this format can only be used for these type of publications. This form of publishing is a great option for your next newsletter, party invitations, newspaper inserts, menus and brochures. The size of the gatefold makes it easy to hand out to potential customers at expos and events offering a lot of information in a single brochure. Plus, because of the condensed size, using this format will help save money when mailing brochures to customers and potential customers.Your company will benefit from using gatefolds for promotional materials mostly because you will be able to include a lot of information in a small, single brochure. It is also a unique and creative advertising tactic that will grab your audience’s attention encouraging them to open the folds and read more. That is if the gatefold does not jump out and grab them first.

Creating Tension

When working in graphic design, making things look good may seem like the right thing to do, but perhaps making things attract attention should be your goal. Attracting attention can often be done by creating tension in the eyes of the viewers. Tension is defined as balanced relation between strongly opposing elements, or the interplay of conflicting elements. This tension or conflict will cause viewers to stop and take a closer look at your design in hopes of uncovering what is making them subconsciously uncomfortable. Here are a few tension creating tips to intrigue your viewers:

vases sale
 

    • Barely touching elements tease the viewers. Their eyes are drawn to this point of almost intersection, and they keep checking to see if the items really touch.

 

    • Design decisions that appear tentative, such as elements that are off-kilter, can cause conflict because the viewer will naturally want things to be straight and orderly. Deliberately placing images off balance, as long as it isn’t overdone, can help capture a viewer’s attention.

 

  • Using complementary colors next to each other, especially when there is a shared edge, can cause a vibration in your design. This is because each color is vying for dominance in the eyes of your viewer. Choose your colors to attract attention.

Using these techniques at some of the focal points of your piece, such as the center, and the corners, will retain the viewer’s interest as they digest all that your piece has to say.

Variation on a Theme

Choosing an appropriate color palette is an important step in creating great design. Using the right mixture of colors is what gives life to the images you create and combine. But perhaps the best way to ensure you are using your colors to their full potential is to experiment with the placement of each color.

variation on theme

This variation on a theme, as seen above, serves to change the look and feel to give you a look that supports the image’s message. The key to variation is experimentation. When you stumble upon the combination that works best, you’ll be glad you took the time.

Customer Surveys That Inspire a Response

Customer response forms, whether they are surveys or feedback requests, are an invaluable part of your company’s go-ahead plans. The feedback you receive helps to drive your marketing and product improvement efforts. But, if these response forms are not pleasing to the eye, and easy to use, your customers will be more likely to throw them away than fill them out.

customer surveysIf you are preparing your company’s survey or feedback forms, take a lesson from the U.S. Census Bureau. In 1995, while they were beginning preparations for Census 2000, they spent time rethinking the effectiveness of the Census forms in creating a desire to participate. They realized the forms were unappealing and hard to follow, and because they wanted to generate a 100% response rate, they needed to find a way to boost people’s desire to participate. What they came up with was a fresh look that combined fact gathering and encouraging language with a fluid design and color scheme.

While the sheer volume of participants in the 2000 Census make this project seem irrelevant to the information gathering of a small company, there are many things that can be learned about form and function from the Census design.

  • Keep your design simple.
  • Use colors that set people at ease.
  • Consider the use of rounded shapes and lines, which are more appealing than rigid boxes.
  • Inform the participants of the value of their responses.
  • Make your form a safe place to divulge information.

Customers want their voices to be heard. When you ask them questions about themselves, you are giving them a place to participate in the future decisions of your company. Presenting your request for information in a way that makes them comfortable and eager to participate will increase your response rate and ultimately, your bottom line.

Room to Breathe

One of the most common pitfalls in design occurs when text is squeezed into borders and boxes, or wrapped too tightly around illustrations or silhouetted photographs. Next time you are faced with the challenge of creating sufficient breathing room in your designs, remember: there is beauty in simplicity. Compare the following examples of crowded vs. comfortable designs:

paragraph

Here are some simple solutions on how to avoid the claustrophobic, unappealing feel of crowded design:

  • Increase the size of the border or box.
  • Increase the size of the margins on the edges of the page.
  • Add more breathing room around individual elements by increasing the white space in text wraps.
  • Decrease the font size, or cut back on text when possible.

Color Talks… Are You Listening?

Next time you want to make a bold statement, try saying it with color!

Depending on what type of message or meaning you wish to convey, the color combinations you choose can support, emphasize, or contradict your message. Color stimulates the senses, symbolizes abstract concepts and thoughts, expresses fantasy or wish fulfillment, and produces an aesthetic or emotional response.

According to the Institute for Color Research, humans make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or item within 90 seconds of initial viewing, and the majority of that assessment is based on color alone. party suppliesBecause color delivers an instant impression that is generally understood universally, color is very important in conveying a mood or idea where verbiage is not used or understood.

The power of color combinations can also be seen on many levels of marketing communication, including corporate identification and logos, signage, television ads, billboards, print media and packaging, online web sites, and on point-of-purchase displays.

Here is a small sampling of dominant colors and the responses they elicit:

sereneRed: Exciting, energizing, sexy, hot, dynamic, stimulating, provocative, aggressive, powerful
Bright Pink: Happy, attention-getting, youthful, spirited, fun, wild
Light Pink: Romantic, soft, sweet, tender, cute, babies
Orange: Fun, childlike, harvest, juicy, friendly, loud
Beige: Classic, sandy, earthy, natural, soft
Brown: Wholesome, warm, woodsy, rustic, durable, masculine
Purple: Royalty, powerful, expensive
Light Blue: Calm, quiet, peaceful, cool, water, clean
Bright Blue: Electric, vibrant, stirring, dramatic
Bright Yellow: Enlightening, sunshine, cheerful, friendly, energy, happy
Black: Powerful, elegant, mysterious, bold, classic, magical, nighttime
Silver: Classic, cool, money, valuable, futuristic
Gold: Warm, opulent, expensive, radiant, valuable, prestigious

Painting With Light

painting with light painting with light
Adding Dramatic Lighting Effects to Your Photo
With a bit of selective lightening and darkening in Photoshop, you can make a dull, lifeless photograph pop off the page.

There is nothing wrong with the original image, although the “before” picture lacks the dramatic mood that the change of lighting adds to the “after” picture. By using Photoshop to accentuate the darks and the lights, the viewer’s attention is now focused directly on the couple.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Create a new layer in Photoshop by pressing Shift+F5.
  • Select “50% Gray from the drop down menu next to “Use: and choose “Color Burn” from the drop down menu next to “Mode”.
  • Set the Opacity around 50%-80%. This can be changed later.
  • Click “OK”.
  • Use the shortcut for the Brush Tool, “B”, and right click to select a large brush with a soft edge.
  • Change the brushes color to white and set the opacity to 2%-3%.
  • Begin painting where you want the light to appear.