Pride Week Rebrand
Client: iSMSS, Faculty of Education, U of A
Services Provided: Graphic Design, Brand Development, Print Media
While working in-house for Technologies in Education, Kris Wells — director and face of the Faculty of Education’s subunit, iSMSS — requested a time-sensitive and high-level rebrand for the U of A’s annual Pride Week campaign. He requested that I carry forward themes and conceptual elements from the previous identity, while still giving the look a fresh new aesthetic.
I faced three main challenges during the production of this project:
1. Giving the brand a complete facelift with careful consideration of the previous identity.
2. Working within an extremely tight deadline. I had roughly 3 weeks to develop the new brand and reformat the visuals for all sorts of print and digital media such as banners, lawn signs, buttons, tuberz, posters, bookmarks, and photobooth frames.
3. Convincing the client to allow me to simplify the Pride Week logo into a 1 color layout instead of 7.
Before I dove into the rebrand for Pride Week, I sat down with the managers of iSMSS and got a good sense of their expectations along with the main initiative of the campaign. Once I felt I had a thorough understanding of the project's full brief, I began to study the previous Pride Week poster and jotted down what I thought was working and what I thought was not working — this list ended up becoming the skeletal foundation for the brand's new visual identity. Since the whole rebrand process was going to be stemmed from the previous poster design, I thought that tackling the poster first was the best approach.
I found that the previous Pride Week poster was not authentically representing the vibrant and energetic culture that the Pride community represents, so I changed the logo to a 1 color version and replaced the dark background graphics with bright, cheery colors instead. Although I thought confetti was great imagery to symbolize the campaign, the muted photography-based graphics within the previous poster appeared dated and subdued — instead, I dropped the megaphone portion and threaded this celebratory theme using clean vector confetti. With a fresh new focus on bright color, overlaying texture, bubbly shadow stylization, and pop-art bullets, the new brand mimicked Pride Week’s previous identity — only in a more fun, confident, and contemporary way.
In conclusion, the following elements from the previous identity were revisited and stylized:
Pride Logo Placement & Size
I introduced geometric shadow stylization and formatted the logo into 1 color rather than multiple colors. I incorporated the playful colors into the entire poster — rather than limiting them in just the logo — making the logo stand out among the bright backdrop and unifying the poster as a whole.
I adjusted the placement, size, and colorization of the logo garden (monochromatic).
I replaced the photo-based megaphone and confetti backdrop with clean vectorized confetti.
Bullets for Key Info
I simplified the hierarchy of content by organizing the information with customized bullets.
When I had a set of strong, refined posters, I set up another meeting with the managers of iSMSS and pitched the new look to them. They were instantly on board with the direction but had a few questions and concerns about the logo's color palette being simplified to 1. I listed the reasons why I made that particular design decision along with all the benefits I predicted would result out of this alteration. They developed an understanding of this portion of the rebrand and promptly approved the concepts thereafter — so long as the president (Kris Wells) approved too (which he did within the hour).
The entire campaign rebrand ended up becoming more of a hit than I could have ever anticipated. During my attendance of the big rebrand launch at the Pride Week campaign, hundreds of Pride supporters proudly wore their rebranded tubers/buttons, waved their new flags, and took selfies in front of the vibrant banners/lawn signs. Once the word got out that I was the designer behind the new brand, countless people thanked me for the new look and told me that the brand finally represented their community visually.
I reformatted the new Pride Week identity for all sorts of print and digital media such as banners, lawn signs, buttons, tuberz, posters, bookmarks, and photobooth frames.