The value of rebranding is that it can make your key target audiences look at you in a fresh new light, while also reinforcing key brand attributes and strengthening relationships. A new name and new look presents new opportunities to be seen and heard in a new and appealing way.
We have enjoyed working with the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (RMCVB) for several years, often referring to them (affectionately) as the JHI client with the longest name. That name was a hindrance: it didn’t clearly convey what the organization really does, which is filling hotel rooms by doing a heck of a job selling the Richmond Region as a great tourism and meeting destination. The name didn’t tell the story, or reinforce the economic value delivered, which is millions of dollars spent by visitors to our beautiful Richmond Region.
Recently RMCVB decided to change all that, by changing their name to Richmond Region Tourism. We were thrilled to hear about the change, and even more thrilled when they asked JHI to design a new identity that could be a workhorse for the organization. Several design objectives were set, one of which was geographic (clearly convey that it’s RICHMOND VIRGINIA, versus one of the many other Richmonds that happen to be North America), some of which were aesthetic (modern, clean, fresh) and some of which were purely functional (horizontal and vertical, easy to see large or small, great on the web or on a shirt). RMCVB staff members and a task force comprised of Board members participated in a series of planning meetings to help shape an identity that everyone would be proud to wear. And we are very proud of the result.
Not one, not two, but THREE distinguished awards from AIGA Richmond! The 7th biennial Greater Richmond Awards for Design Excellence (or GRADE, as it is better known) were held last Friday, April 26th and we were so humbled to be included with the incredible work from across the Richmond region that was selected this year.
J H I is pleased to announce that we received Best in Category: Publication Design and a prestigious Judge’s Choice award for St. Catherine’s Celebrations 2011 & 2012 as well as Best in Category: Promotional for our most recent J H I Holiday Card.
J H I also received 5 merit awards for all our pieces selected for the show: LCLD BUILD Conference Identity 2012, RIC/RVA Did You Know? Posters, 2011 HOLIDEAS Holiday Card, 2013 Holiday Card and Celebrations 2011 & 2012. Of 295 total show entries from across central Virginia, only 79 pieces were even IN the design show and then only a select 10-12 pieces received awards so we are very honored.
We are looking forward to another 2 years of working with great clients on great projects! See you at GRADE 8!
The recent TEDxRVA event came together at rapid speed, and we were along for the ride in creating this event program. You may have noticed a sneak peek on Instagram in the days leading up to the TEDxRVA event and we are happy to share the final product with those of you who may have missed out on this exciting event.
An 11th hour content creating session with a key TEDxRVA planner (consisting of international phone calls and frantic iPhone photos of a missing signature) helped produce this stack of over 30 cards.
Each inspiring speaker is featured on a card designed with a unique geometric pattern, and the cards come together to illustrate the wide range of meaning behind this year’s theme of “create.” We used the existing TEDxRVA and “create” logos, and brought the “create” concept to life by using every color and pattern we could think of.
We wanted to create the brochure in a way that gave attendees a useful tool for the event. The stack of cards [flexible page count] is 5″x7″ [easy to hold] and on uncoated paper [easy to write on]. We incorporated space on the back of each card for note taking space. Each card has a unique pattern that is subtly repeated on the front of the card as a thin background texture.
This card program was meant to connect to the attendees of TEDxRVA to the speakers of TEDxRVA; these people are online. Whenever possible, we incorporated twitter handles and web addresses to join the two groups together.
Hola! JHI is helping our friends at VALHEN to develop strategic communications messages that will raise awareness and support for the organization. VALHEN is the Virginia Latino Higher Education Network: the only statewide, non-profit organization in Virginia focused solely on supporting and promoting access to and success in higher education in the Latino community. This effort is lead by passionate education professionals who recognize that the Latino community is the fasting growing minority in Virginia. By ensuring that these Latino students and families understand the value of higher education, and by providing a pathway that makes it possible through programs like the Hispanic College Institute, VALHEN is working for a better future not only for the Latino community, but also for the state as a whole. This is important work, and VALHEN depends completely upon the dedicated efforts and generous contributions of volunteers and donors: can you help?
We recently hit a milestone here upon the completion of our TENTH summer program brochure for our lovely friends at St. Catherine’s School! The summer program at St. Catherine’s has grown and evolved through the years, beginning as the beloved Cat’s CAP Day Camp and growing into an expansive summer program called Brilliant Summer. We have been so thankful to be along for the ride, helping evolve the Cat’s CAP branding in 2005 and again with some sparkle in 2009. Then in 2010, the program expanded into Brilliant Summer, combining day camps for academics, athletics, outdoor adventure and the same summertime fun everyone had at Cat’s CAP. The new Brilliant Summer program has many facets and a lot of information to convey to readers, so we knew the key to avoiding confusion was to create a clear user experience.
We approached the design of this new brochure from a web-design & user experience perspective. What information does the user need and when? What information are they looking for? With an abundance of information to share, a clear structure and friendly “user interface” was important to direct the reader to the information they were looking for. Using design elements like color, type and form, we clearly defined the areas of the program, organized the timeline calendar, and made building your camper’s Brilliant Summer easy.
A new color scheme structure distinguished the unique camps throughout the book; blue as the unifying Brilliant Summer color, green for Brilliant Minds Academic Camps, purple for Brilliant Moves Athletic Camps, yellow for Brilliant Sounds Music Academy and red for Brilliant Choices Day Camps (formerly Cat’s CAP).
With such an expansive program, the amount of information can be overwhelming for a user so the challenge was to distill information down to manageable bite-size pieces anywhere we could. By cross-referencing page numbers and repeating identifiers for each camp, the user is led through the book directly to the information they need.
The user experience is carried through to the application design. With so many camps and choices, just applying can be dizzying if you don’t know what is being asked of you. Much like designing forms for web, we narrowed down the information being requested and clearly defined what the user needs to input.
To many more years of Brilliant Summers!
We all know that every once and a while, even our most beloved identities need an update. We see it all the time as major companies change their look just enough to stay current, yet remain true to their roots. This past fall J H I was given the opportunity to do the same to one of Richmond’s most beloved and well known events: The Richmond Folk Festival.
Now sometimes change can be difficult at first, but we took the time to make sure that any identity modifications that we made were not too drastic. We wanted to make sure that the integrity of the Folk Fest remained intact.
After working on the identity, we started to realize that the newspaper ads we had done in previous years needed a bit of a facelift as well. We pulled ideas from those ads and from updates we made to the new logo and came up with a fresh look for The Folk Fest.
This new look aims to engage a widening audience without losing the “folks” who have been to and enjoyed the Festival in previous years. As you can see many of the colors stayed the same, and even much of the type, but it took on a new life under our care and began to flourish. Many times J H I is tasked with updating an identity like this one, and it’s our job to assess the brand’s equity and improve upon it. It’s not that the old ads were bad, far from it, but sometimes an ad just needs a bit of tender care to stay current and to give it that little push in the right direction. It takes a keen eye, and we love doing it.
Click here to find out more about this year’s Richmond Folk Festival.
As a company, J H I has a long history of community involvement. We have been fortunate to partner with many excellent organizations that dedicate themselves to raising and maintaining the highest quality of life possible for all Richmonders.
Our work for these partner companies often focuses inward to the community and is supportive of the many amenities that an organization like VentureRichmond provides (Folk Festival, Easter Parade, Canal Walk, etc.), and also outwardly, with the equally hard work of the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, helping to bring new people to our finally-getting-discovered amazing city.
As a transplanted New Yorker (many years ago) I remember feeling the need to constantly go back to “The City” when I needed anything that was out of the ordinary. After a while, I realized that ninety-nine percent of those things that I thought I could only get “up there” were actually already here. With just a little more effort, when you scratch the surface here, you will be amazed at what is going on and available in our community.
So now, the situation is reversed. Well, not exactly now, but in September of 2015 the world is coming to Richmond in the form of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale). We will become, for nine days, the world focus of serious cyclists, when one of the most important bicycle races of the year rolls through Richmond.
The people at the organizing committee, Richmond 2015, deserve a huge amount of respect and credit for being able to bring this wonderful event to Richmond; another huge leap forward in stature for our community. Right now it would be difficult to guess what the long-term impact might be, not only as another notch of success but how might it affect the evolving zeitgeist of our growing and creative community. The event, itself, promises to be transformational…
When an established brand is refreshed, brand consistency across all pieces (web, print, mobile, environmental, etc.) is absolutely key, as we talk about often. And even as more and more things move to the web and mobile marketing arena, sometimes you just need a good old fashioned pocket folder to carry and sell that brand!
Check out the newly designed pocket folder for our friends at Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. They needed a simple pocket folder for their sales team to market awesome RVA and came to J H I for help in applying the History 2.0 brand.
With the new design we wanted to stay away from the standard “logo here, image there” feel of most pocket folders and give it an unexpected “WOW” factor with a visual energy that really reflects the exciting attributes of the Richmond Region.
Adding a few mostly unknown factoids about the region engages the reader to open it and find out more. For instance, did you know that Richmond is the only U.S. city to offer Class IV whitewater rafting in an urban setting? And that the region is comprised of 5 amazing counties with fun things to do in each place? Check out all the counties have to offer here!
Richmond definitely has a ton of options and more than just a good bit of history. The new pocket folder design for the sales team gives a quick and beautiful glance at our wonderful city all in one place. Get out there and see for yourself!
’Twas the night before deadline, and all through the house,
The designers were stirring, and every last mouse.
The logos were placed in the layout with care,
In hopes that the work, soon we would share.
The client was waiting with full bated breath,
When a vision of horror: the blue screen of death!
“I’ve lost all my files, what on Earth to do?”
No reason to fear, J H I to the rescue!
We spring into action with all our great might,
To deliver as promised and alleviate fright.
One eye on strategic, one eye on the brand,
We design with a flourish and a twist of the hand.
Now en dash, now em dash, now kerning and pixels!
We move with great speed to get out of these pickles.
All headlines in place and grids in alignment,
Just one more moment for typeface refinement.
We’ve written the e-mail, we’re nearing the end,
Then we package the files and finally hit SEND.
All has arrived to our client’s delight—
Happy holidays to all, and to all a GOOD NIGHT!
When it comes to the development of a brand, I can not think of any one factor that carries more importance than consistency. A brand is an inherently complex situation with many moving parts. While proper handling of these parts can result in a rock solid foundation, misuse can just as easily cause a brand to appear disjointed, or fall apart completely. A simplified version of these “parts” can be viewed as a kind of trinity (i.e, what are you saying? how are you saying it? and how do you look while you’re saying it?) Not dissimilar to the inner workings of a clock, these ideas must also fit perfectly together. Their relationships all work in tandem to create a clearly developed message and appearance, giving a brand its personality and building a platform for future growth.
At J H I, we work with a vast array of individuals, organizations, and companies who all seek to empower their brands. To us, there is no difference between completely developing a system ourselves or optimizing one that has been established for years. The end goal is always they same; to communicate effectively and consistently, and this is always something we love to do. A recent example of this can be seen in our work for Exterior Source.
While more and more eggs are finding their way into mobile and web baskets respectively, the relevance of a good business card is still unquestionable. It is a 3.5″ x 2″ opportunity to convey who you are, instantly and tangibly. It is essentially your first impression. When designing the business cards for Exterior Source, we thought carefully about the key elements and how they would best be used and received. The result is a piece which maintains consistency with the other materials and further develops the brand by referencing common shapes, colors and typography. To put it simply; when all of your parts are congruent as a brand, you are letting your audience know that you are professional and dependable. And that, is a very good idea.