If you’re reading this, maybe you’ve noticed—we’re looking a little brighter and bolder these days, thanks to our brand overhaul. It wasn’t a quick process, and it certainly wasn’t easy, but it’s exactly what we wanted, insights gained along the way and all. Here’s some behind-the-scenes info from CEO Kevin, Creative Director Jeff, and CAO Becky on the philosophy and the design process behind our rebrand.
When was the last total rebrand for the company?
Kevin: The last total rebrand was in 1992, when we expanded from an event audio recording company into a video production company. In 2008, we changed our name from Creative Video Works to CVWmedia, updated our logo, and added new elements into our branding materials to brighten things up a bit. In a way, that logo lasted twenty-five years. Not too bad.
Jeff: In the soft rebrand, we still held onto a lot of the core elements of the brand. It was really more of a heavy facelift. This time we’re full on face-melting and doing something fresh.
What was the last rebrand process like for you?
Jeff: Last time we rebranded it was pretty conservative, and we were still growing into the shoes we’re wearing today.
Becky: I started a couple years after that. I’ve heard some stories.
Kevin: In the end, it was well worth it, and by all accounts a success, but we were certainly ready to move on to other projects by the time we completed it.
Kevin: The previous logo and other branding elements projected a serious, professional image. We know how and when to be serious, and we’re very professional, but that’s only a small part of who we’ve become. The company is our people, and we’re creative, fun, quirky, and interesting; our personalities combine to create an atmosphere that has outgrown our old look. Our range of services and our mindset have changed, so it was time to reimagine our look and feel in a way that fairly represents the people I have the pleasure of working with every day.
What were some key things you wanted to illustrate with the new brand?
Kevin: I knew we needed to convey that we’re multi-faceted. I also wanted the new brand to give our clients and friends the same feeling we get when we interact with each other, when we collaborate on an interesting and challenging project, or when we finish a project that puts our best work into the hands of a client. Yes, we’re good at what we do, but also it’s fun. And it should be, so let’s allow that feeling to show through.
Jeff: First and foremost, the logo needed to express who we are versus who we were. The work we did ten or even two years ago isn’t the same as the work we’re doing today. It’s a good representation for those who don’t know us, or those who know us but don’t know about ALL the cool things we do. Beyond that, it’s a waypoint for us—for the type of work we want to do and how we want to do it.
Becky: I agree with all of that. When we direct someone to our website or hand them a business card, I want a sense of who we are and what we’re capable of to be immediately apparent.
What did you want to preserve from the old brand?
Jeff: The color blue was something we knew we wanted to hang onto. That’s something that’s always going to be part of our visual identity. In 2008, we created some robotic vine elements to inject some life and vibrance into our brand materials. They were a bold move for us back then, and even just creating them was a learning process. Looking back on the vines, I really think they helped us get to where we are today, both with our creative styles as well as our more fun and flexible company personality. The vines are gone, but the spectrum of colors that came with them are still a key aspect of the new look.
What were your primary concerns going into the process?
Kevin: From a personal standpoint, as the owner and the only one who has been here for all thirty years of our existence, I needed to figure out how to avoid interfering with the creative process. I had to make sure I didn’t undercut the ability of our team to create a new and unique visual identity for us.
Becky: From a project management perspective, it was hard for me to let go of my beloved “this is the way things go for every other project” processes to account for the fact that branding our own company is quite different than branding someone else.
Jeff: My main concern was creating something that everyone liked as much as the previous logo. While our old logo was…old…it was still pretty iconic, and it’s been the face of the company for a long time. But once we established the new brand internally, I think everyone was really ready for this to be our new look.
What was your role?
Jeff: The entire process has been a very collaborative one. All of us were working together to create something that came from the team, rather than just one artist. I, and the other artists, did a lot of initial concepting and brainstorming. As Creative Director, I had a lot to do with the direction we went and ultimately handled the final design work, but it really is something that came from the team.
Becky: Attempting to impose deadlines and budgets to a very fluid process. We probably could’ve revised things forever or just put everything off forever, so finding the time—but not too much time—to dedicate to this process has been my primary focus, in the context of all of our client work. Also, on the average day, I have the most direct client contact of anyone here, so my stake in how we represent ourselves up front is maybe more present in my mind all the time, and I think my design feedback was affected by it.
Kevin: This is a rare scenario where I’m both the owner and the client, all while seeing every iteration of each element throughout the entire process. That’s trickier than it may sound, both for me and for my coworkers, but in the end we all felt a sense of accomplishment. My other role was to be sure we kept everyone’s jurisdiction intact without stifling creativity. There’s a lot of push and pull when designing a brand, and when you’re working on your own brand it’s personal. The brand is literally us; none of us take that lightly.
What are some things you think this rebrand might open up for CVW that may not have been possible before?
Kevin: I think clients and potential clients will instinctively give us more room for creativity on a larger variety of projects, a bigger sandbox if you will. All of our brand materials communicate our flexibility while showing off our artistry. I also expect the work we did leading up to this launch to present new and exciting client projects. For example, look at the last several months of our social media accounts, and you’ll see things unlike what we have in our portfolio.
Jeff: The rebrand could open up opportunities for people to get to know us again. We’re a more dynamic company than we were a few years ago. The types of projects we’re doing now are just so different, and so diverse. The new brand really expresses that.