Thursday, August 08, 2013

Brochure redesign.

The owner of Diamond IT realized that the brochure designs for his company were just not cutting it in terms of quality and overall presentation. The brochures were not nearly as professional as they needed to be and did not properly represent the company. I was hired to give the brochures a much needed redesign that more effectively brands the company and their services.

Overall, the brochure was far too plain and lacked refinement. It definitely needed more color and new images. There were also inconsistencies with the type in the brochure. Most noticeably in the inside panels where some paragraphs are formatted differently as well as a mix of serif and sans serif fonts.

For the new brochures I used new images that made far better use of color and size to create a more visually interesting design. The type issues were corrected with one font for all of the text as well as consistent formatting for the paragraphs.

There is no rule stating that all of the content in a trifold brochure has to be contained within the vertical panels. It's not bad if it follows that format, but it is very typical. To deviate from that typical look, I took one panel of information, blocked it off, and laid it out across two panels. This blocked section creates a more visually interesting element and breaks up the vertical space. The same image from the cover was used in the background as well as the the blue color to keep a consistent look throughout the brochure.

When you compare the old and new brochures you can see how much more impact the new design has with better use of type, color, and imagery.

The design was applied to two other brochures. While each has its own set of color combinations, and images, they maintain the same overall formatting which helps establish a cohesive, recognizable, and professional appearance.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Artisan Vehicle Systems rebranding case study.

Old website and logo used by Artisan Vehicle Systems.

The Company:
Artisan Vehicle Systems provides end to end zero emission powertrain solutions. Their products include heavy duty vehicle powertrains, battery packs, master vehicle controls, high powered chargers, and maintenance systems.

The Challenge:
To help elevate the company's image by improving their visual branding.

What needs to be improved? To start off with, the logo design is not working. It seems like a bad interpretation of what someone in the early 1980's thought would look futuristic. There are also some awkward angles and spacing issues happening. The logo does not represent the company well at all and needs to be improved.

A strong logo is especially important for a business because it is the cornerstone of the company's identity. It is incorporated into virtually everything that anyone will see from a business, including marketing materials, online presence, ads, signage, promotional items... For those reasons, it is essential that a company logo is well designed.

The website was doing no favors for the company either. The design is very bland and the logo, which is the only image on the homepage, is way too big. The site is about on par with what website design was back in 1998. With a website like that, they are essentially giving visitors the impression of being nearly 15 years behind the times. That's bad news considering that they are a tech company, and this was their website as of mid 2012. 

Overall, the visual branding is weak and reflects very poorly upon the company, giving potential clients a bad impression about who they are and the quality of the products they provide. 

The Solution:
Gone is the quasi-futuristic and simultaneously retro 80's logo, and in is a more refined, and memorable logo design consisting of a combination icon and wordmark. The new logo incorporates a figure reminiscent of Art Deco imagery from the 20's, but still maintains a very modern style. If you look closely the wrench tapers off into a lightning bolt shape. Just a small detail that adds some flair.   

The new website makes use of very clean, corporate design that is far more visually appealing. Bigger is not always better, so the logo does not take up over half the width of the page like the previous website.

Imagery is not just for decoration and visual interest. It also helps reinforce your message. So, the layout makes good use of carefully selected photography for the large banner. The banner alternates between three different designs fading in and out every few seconds. Notice the slight hexagon pattern in the banner. That is the same shape as the logo, and is also incorporated into the outer website background.

The new business card, much like the website, has a very corporate feel to it. The hexagon pattern, which was used in the website, is repeated again here. Also carried over are the colors red, black, and gray, as well as the use of the logo icon as a background image. Incorporating similar elements throughout different designs helps create a consistent brand image that customers will instantly recognize, and associate with Artisan Vehicle Systems.

The rebrand has helped raise the company's brand by putting forth a far more professional image which lends credibility to the company and instills confidence in current and potential future customers.

Rebranded logo, business card, and website for Artisan Vehicle Systems.