Ask DN: How to do a brand makeover?

4 years ago from , CEO at OpenCurriculum

Hi friends, I am looking for guides and resources to understand the steps I need to take to do a brand re-do for our startup. I have been trying to find clear guidelines on the activities we need to undertake internally for a new brand identity, logo, style guide, values, and look and feel. Everything that a design strategy firm would charge you $100k for. Tbh, I have studied design strategy (from one of the top design schools in the world), but it was a bunch of disconnected design activities from the business model canvas world that I don't actually feel helped me understand this.

Any and all ideas would be appreciated!


  • David KlawitterDavid Klawitter, almost 4 years ago

    I can't speak to what a design firm offers, but I recently went through the exercise of re-branding Detroit Labs. I spent a lot of time searching and researching how others handled this, from dribbble shots to brand guideline books I have in my library.

    I think it's important that remember that your brand is more than just a cool logo, so spend some time writing about the things that are important to OpenCurriculum, what it's strengths and values are. You'll hopefully discover some themes that guide the rest of your branding.

    Consider the different applications of your branding. You'll undoubtedly be applying to the web, social media, probably print, advertisements? Once you have your atoms--your logo, colors, typography, image style--you can start to combine them to create the molecules that are the meat of your branding.

    Is that kinda sorta what you're looking for?

    0 points
    • , almost 4 years ago

      Thank you, David! Kinda sorta. I want guiding questions / tools to help come up with the very things you are talking about. Ways to think about the strengths / values (with examples), ways to think about our story, about our atoms (with some guidelines and examples).

      What are the best sources of information you found / used? Going through Dribbble seems like a tiring exercise, right? Was there a handbook you referred to?

      0 points
      • David KlawitterDavid Klawitter, almost 4 years ago

        I wish I could give you something a little more concrete, but in my case it just came from research. Find some sources of branding guidelines (I know there are sites dedicated to them) and use them for reference. You'll see recurring themes like sections for logos, imagery, tone of voice, etc.

        A simple suggestion might be to start by brainstorming words that best represent your company and what it stands for. What words do you use when you speak to investors, customers, or use in your marketing?

        You could drop a few bucks and purchase this template (I have and it's OK but maybe not exactly what you're looking for) https://madebysidecar.com/products/branding-delivery-template or search the different design marketplaces for similar guideline templates.

        Best of luck to you!

        0 points