Working to maintain the brand of a storied organization is truly an honor.

However, well-known brands often have very strict brand guidelines, which can be a challenge for marketers. How do you keep marketing materials looking current and fresh while maintaining the look that makes the organization instantly recognizable?

These constraints were familiar to Yale Law School  when they invited us to create a branded theme and style for reunion. They needed to balance the tradition of Yale University with an updated look that would excite alumni to attend and donate.

Know Your Audience

In our creative brief call with Yale Law School’s Alumni team, they explained that the traditional Yale University imagery like the bulldog mascot wasn’t important to Law School alumni. Instead, they wanted to see images of the law buildings, faculty, other alumni, and law school specific insignia. Most brands have lots of elements to choose among. Learning what makes a connection for your audience helps narrow down what to keep and where you can evolve.

Evoking Emotion

So often, a historical brand continues to be relevant and respected because of emotion. Having a connection with Yale Law School means being tied to a sense of dignity and pride. In all event materials, this needed to be felt. Merging these elements with new ones can create a theme that both honors tradition while creating new ones. In addition to the images, we prominently used Yale’s blue, one of their brand fonts to tap into association with Yale.

Capturing Attention

In today’s media-driven world, it can take seeing a message 20+ times for your audiences to take note and take action. Recognition starts with the imagery that connects it to Yale. Layered on top of that look, we created a distinctive typographic design that was used repeatedly throughout all Reunion communications.

What’s even better is that each group of reunion classes is only invited every 5 years, so the investment in design can be repurposed for that whole cycle.

Events create interesting questions about brand. Should you stick tightly to your brand or venture off to create something totally new? We’ll be exploring the options in our next community webinar coming in June. Stayed tuned for registration details coming soon.

And in the meantime, if you have an event that could use a brand update, we’d love to talk! Book some time for a discovery call with Beth.

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