Sometimes, the branding process evolves organically, as it did when a communications audit we conducted for the Academy of Natural Sciences grew into a long-term creative relationship.
When Eastern Standard began working with the Academy, we had some instincts about what visitors of this Philadelphia landmark wanted and needed. We then engaged the staff, board, peers, and more than 15,000 individuals who have had some experience with the Academy in our extensive research efforts. The result was a comprehensive report that helped to shape a new understanding of this celebrated cultural institution. This detailed brief not only refined and distilled the existing brand within a preliminary style guide; it also identified several undervalued programs and new marketing opportunities to explore.
We got down to business creating some basic materials for stabilization of the brand and the creation of a universal set of brand guidelines. For example, while the Academy already had a suite of well-established and functional logos, we researched the typographic roots and made recommendations for more uniform use, as well as some website alterations to better fit the brand and tie their messaging together.
With those initial tasks complete, we embarked upon many additional exciting crossover brand design initiatives, including the co-branding of the organization in its partnership with Drexel University, a complete redesign of their website — which includes over 100,000 pages — and a comprehensive suite of marketing materials to support the Academy’s 2012 bicentennial celebration.
The many additional components of a complete communications overhaul included a planned giving package, a new look and approach to their annual report, and virtually all of the Academy’s ongoing promotion for special exhibits, membership communications, and fundraising efforts. Over the course of our work together, the Academy has seen across-the-board growth in attendance, membership, and fundraising. We attribute this growth to the commitment of leadership at the Academy to fostering growth through improved communications and programming, and have sought out every opportunity to maximize the appeal of the Academy through our work.