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Slate, an online editorial, partnered with Gretel, a New York based design studio to redesign the way they work and buildmuch more than just a new look.

Rebranding

Brief

Launched in 1996, Slate is a general-interest online magazine offering analysis and commentary about politics, news, business, technology, and culture. It has also published podcasts since the beginning of that medium and now hosts more than fifteen different ones.

 

According to Slate’s Design Director, Jason Santa Maria, it was clear on the first appraisal that Slate had fallen into disrepair over the years, lacked a cohesive visual voice and was in dire need of a re-design/ rebranding. There was an absence of ‘Slateyness’, a term understood only by the internal team at Slate and this needed to be expressed visually, to the viewers, in a way that lived up to the tone and quality of the journalism.

Rebranding

The challenge wasn’t about just rebranding or re-designing the website. Slate wanted to re-design the way they worked, they wanted to build a process for working together that brought everyone to the same table-editorial, design, development, product and sales.

 

For a solution, Slate’s in-house design group collaborated with the New-York based design studio, Gretel and introduced a new identity and an online presence.

Rebranding

Solution

Slate defines itself as an editorial that is reliable and filled with wit and curiosity. Wanting to use these cues in their visual expression, they have adopted a variety of styles infused cohesively.

 

Gretel helped Slate establish a unified conceptual approach to their design work, in addition to all the needed artifacts like logos, colour, type palettes and a design tool-kit.

Rebranding
Rebranding

The Multi-faceted Existence 

Slate exists in various places like their website, on social platform, as a podcast app and also at public spaces hosting live events.

 

The redesign process started from a small but an important part, a corner of their online journal. They rolled-out of a new article design unlike a typical Slate story. It had an airy layout that gave clarity to the text, with new typefaces and colours, and it was published entirely outside of their CMS.

Rebranding
Rebranding

The Re-thought Features 

The rebranding/ re-design was based on the idea of layering and revealing, a visual strategy applied to the identity and website.

Rebranding
Rebranding

Logo 

The new logo was designed as a bold, uppercase wordmark with the distinguishing mark of a cut-off “A”, a nod to the idea of discovery. This gesture of revealing and uncovering expands to the language of the family of Slate products.

Rebranding
Rebranding

Article-Layout 

A technique of layered ‘slates’ was devised bring structure to article layouts and reveal the story for the viewer as they scroll the page. Their visual research led to the creation of layers such as noise, microfiche, zoom-ins and handwritten scribbles.

Rebranding
Rebranding

Illustrations 

To inject the wit and whimsy that’s so true to the voice, a photo-illustration style was created to replace stock photography and instantly bring ‘slateyness’ to an article.

Rebranding

Typography 

New typographic styles were introduced that sought to represent different textures of news and piles of press clippings with fonts that could be both illustrative and functional assets. This was achieved by paring a Serif, Register, for headlines and a Sans-serif, Retina, for body text.

Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding

Colour Palette 

The only thing retained from the old Slate was the tone-of-voice and the maroon colour with a sight tweak. An additional palette of bright colours served as an aid to navigating sections.

Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding

Conclusion 

The redesigned slate features elements that overlap and pile on top of one another, the editors’ hand scribbles emphasizing a point or creating marginalia and a stylised illustration method.

 

Slate’s story-making process was visualized with a language that feels like sifting through the news, looking for hidden clues and cracking the code that blows open the case, thus providing the viewers with the missing‘slateyness’.

Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding

Client: Slate
Agency: Gretel Design Studio
Solution/Expertise: Rebranding

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 47

 

Mailchimp, a successful marketing company, announced a rebranding that stands out while staying true to the essence of the company.

Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding

Brief/ Challenge: 

The marketing company, Mailchimp has grown exponentially over the past 17 years of their existence. After all the success they wanted a complete rebranding that caught everyone’s attention and stayed true to their identity.

Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding

Solution: 

When young companies grow over years and succeed, they tend to go for a rebranding that reflects their new found maturity and expertise in the field. The general trend is to shed their old skin of unpolished branding, to embrace a more sophisticated, cutting edge appearance.

Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding

Collins, a New-York based strategy and design company, did the exact opposite with the rebranding for Mailchimp, and that’s what makes it interesting. Instead of reflecting the 17 years of success and experience the company has seen, the rebranding demonstrates a child-like personality, with rough and sketchy illustrations and a 1920’s typeface. Even Freddie, the logo-cum-mascot was slightly modified but retained. The overall feel of the branding is something of a kindergarten scrapbook, but in doing so the brand comes across as friendly. The rebranding dispels the unapproachable vibe that we generally see with technology companies. Only time can tell if this strategy will work. But it is definitely a bold and unique approach.

Rebranding
Rebranding
Rebranding

Client: Mailchimp
Design Studio: Collins
Solution/Expertise: Branding Strategy, Communication Design


CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 47

 

Rebranding a well-established company, giving it new additional values and sustaining it of its exceptional worth in the eyes of its customers is not an easy task! Elephant Design has successfully achieved this in its encounter with Easyday of the Future Group.

Rebranding

Brief

The Future Group has had the exceptional ability to understand Indian shoppers, anticipate their needs and deliver good in-store experiences across all its retail chains including Easyday, Nilgiris and heritage stores.

 

Easyday is a re-imagined neighborhood food and grocery store that is driven by local communities and serves a modern, personalized Indian shopping experience to its members. For the local community of loyal members, it is the Naye Andaaz Wali, Apne Pados Ki Dukaan.

 

The Future Group was looking for an ability to build a strong unified brand expression and its fluid translation into retail experience. The ask included everything from building an evocative brand identity to visual story-telling, from presenting products in aspirational ways to translating shopper insights into store services and layouts.

Rebranding

Easyday now wanted to be unique and different by turning into an exclusive members-only benefits club, “Easyday Club”, offering a hyper local community shopping experience to its customers. Providing everything from home care, personal care and food to services like delivery, launch invites, etc, it wishes to be a one-stop-shop to meet all needs. It also has another format called ‘Easyday Fresh”, offering many more choices in fresh foods, dairy, fruit & vegetables.

 

The Future group partnered with Elephant Design to have their brand identity revamped and re-designed, along with the retail layout and principles.

Rebranding

Solution

Easyday is defined as a brand that is reliable, respectable and honest, powered by trust, passion and innovation and with integrity at its core.

 

Easyday is the Retail 3.0 experience where physical store experience is delivered with uniform digital layer that helps shoppers retain their own identity and also gives them access to exclusive offers in every category.

 

The process started out by pivoting the brand on fresh and a never-before shopping experience of everyday groceries meant exclusively for members.

Rebranding

Fresh Brand 

Fresh & deep greens were the choice of colors to represent the refreshing experience people could expect from the brand.

 

The logo incorporated the EasyDay name and had to be associated with savings to indicate a friendly neighborhood store and showcase endless goods & benefits for members. The use of a wallet as a logo seemed to have been apt with lower case letters showing approachability and the ribbon-like texture giving it a contemporary look.

Monochromatic and blended with a chalkboard treatment, a library of icons in one style, covering different categories of products was developed defining the visual identity of the brand used extensively, especially in the EasyDay Fresh stores.

 

All of the visual communication was built around the idea of community and helping farmers by buying locally sourced fresh produce. Freshness was a big part of the brand and was incorporated on the storefronts as well, lending a refreshing look to the stores.

Rebranding

Hyperlocal

In the spirit of building local connect, the logo has been carefully developed in several regional scripts without diluting the style & spirit. This shows the brand’s sincerity towards understanding and communicating in the same language as its members and adds to the approachability at every level.

First Impressions

With front doors acting as the first impression creators for any retail outlet, Elephant design aims at making use of this element to not only impress the existing members but also invite prospective members. The façade glazing leaves some room for imagination through friendly and conversational messages that tell about the benefits of being members and invites the visitors to check it out for themselves by stepping inside.

Rebranding

Store layout and design

At Easyday stores, bright lights, clean aisles, conversational signage, new launches corner and a promise of best deals in every category—all of this is a carefully planned experience around shopper needs & desires.

 

To ensure a consistent experience from store to store, no matter the location, there are certain common principles built within the store experience.

 

Internal pillars, walls, beams and product displays are accented in Easyday greens for a brand-centric look & feel which extends to shopping carts and baskets as well.

Rebranding

The aisle signages are in a Dinoc raw wood finish to offer a hint of rustic and a subtle affinity with ‘farm-fresh’ crate packaging.

 

In-store signage is treated as a means of conversing with the customer and is clear, compelling, friendly & on-brand. A community bulletin board is placed near the entrance-exit to encourage Easyday Club members to promote their services & share information on local events, for a more involved Community connect.

Rebranding

Grocery plus

The beauty of Easyday Club is that members can pick up the freshest gourmet salad dressing and eyeliner at the same time or even have it delivered by sending a simple Whatsapp message!

 

In time, Easyday Club will add other conveniences like delivery & pick-up of online purchases from e-commerce players or maybe a laundry service or utility bill payments depending upon what the members find valuable.

Rebranding

Tone of voice

Without great service, a well-designed store means nothing.

 

While training plays a major role in delivering consistent service, communication through wall graphics, signage, uniforms and carry bags help maintain a consistent & friendly tone of voice throughout the store.

 

So don’t be surprised to read a sign that says “Take care of yourself” guiding one to the personal care section or shopping assistant’s jacket that says “Looking for something?”

Rebranding

Conclusion

Offers and product-mix may change across locations depending upon specific local preferences, but Easyday’s thoughtful presentation and commitment to elevating the shopping experience would remain the same across every store, the idea being that members can shop with confidence knowing they will find great value they’ve come to expect from Future Group.

 

Within a year of the first Easyday Club store’s setup in late 2017, there are already more than 30 stores in running!


 

Client: Future Group | Easyday Club
Design Studio: Elephant Design
Solution/Expertise: Branding Strategy, Communication Design, Retail

 


CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 47

 

Sometimes reworking on just a few elements of the already existing package of multiple things and leaving the rest as they are proves to be successful. DesignStudio used a similar theory to rebrand Evernote as a brand.

Evernote
Evernote

Brief

Evernote was launched in 2008 as a way to remember everything from anywhere. In the lead-up to its ten-year anniversary, the company embarked on a mission to reposition itself from a note-taking app and more clearly reflect what the company does today-helping people manage information overload and find their focus.

 

DesignStudio were brought in to develop the brand strategy and a visual ID system to bring this to life.

Evernote
Evernote

Solution 

DesignStudio partnered closely with the Evernote team to develop a brand purpose, helping Evernote and its users to focus on what matters most.

 

Starting with an exploration of the logo and wordmark, they developed a fresh, energetic and modern visual system to bring the positioning to life. Also, a brand video was developed for a company-wide brand reveal as part of Evernote’s ten-year anniversary.

Evernote
Evernote

The Foundation 

It all started with the logo, an elephant (affectionately named Mads, after Evernote’s first paying customer). An elephant is thought to “never forget”, representing the company’s original mission, and over the years had developed equity with Evernote users. Launching a wide-ranged exploration of elephant logos, from the elaborate to the deconstructed, was a great help in determining that Mads needed more evolution than revolution.

Evernote
Evernote

The Evolution 

Mads, the elephant, was evolved with more rigorous geometry, unified shapes, curves, and a trunk composed of a spiral, a shape that represents progress. Mads was then paired with a new wordmark comprised of initial case serif typography, with an editorial feel that nods to Evernote as a writing tool and its founder, Stepan Pachikov, and his belief in the importance of the written word.

 

The overall effect is optimistic, clever, confident and clear, more trustworthy than trendy.

Evernote
Evernote
Evernote

Bringing It to Life 

A fresh, modern and clean colour palette was developed to evolve the brand’s heritage green, vibrant chartreuse and black and to create a visual system that prominently featured bold graphic illustration and typography.

 

The illustrations communicate the idea of focus by organizing disparate information and inputs, represented by colour blocks and patterns. The illustrations were then scaled from complex, large-scale marketing messages to smaller product illustrations and a system of iconography.

Evernote
Evernote
Evernote

Conclusion

DesignStudio created the new Evernote brand to tell a story of how the organization allows people to focus on what matters most.

 

Evernote is loved by a devout user base, so care was taken to retain the spirit and charm of what existed, while evolving the brand to appeal to a broader audience.

 

The new visual system echoes the brand DNA of Optimistic, Clever, Confident and Clear. Bold colours, pithy language, and a modern illustrative and photography approach work together to create a brand system that’s cohesive and decisively Evernote.

Evernote
Evernote
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 47