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Agency Off Record

Brand Evaluation: Shoeing the Cobbler’s Children Part III

In two previous blog posts we examined the initial steps in our branding process, including the discovery session and the process to identify direction for the story and visuals associated with your identity. Now, we’re going to jump ahead. This blog is going to share the best practices we followed in evaluating our potential brand refresh options after we executed brand visuals.

For AOR’s brand refresh, we put our expertise to work to make our shoes; however, we realized the evaluation of our own work was going to be too subjective. We knew we needed to review from an objective standpoint to put the best work in action. Oftentimes, agencies are too close to their work to really evaluate it objectively and the same goes for your organization. At AOR, we’re about to give our kids some of the best shoes, and here’s how.


Objective evaluation of brand visuals

Logos are often the highest level visual explanation of a brand, and while we recognize a brand is made up of much more than a logo, our ability to objectively evaluate a logo as the foundation of a brand is extremely important. So today, we’ll ask ourselves, “is the logo…”

  1. Simple: do the visual aspects of the logo provide a quick get for our organization?
  2. Memorable: are the visual aspects of the logo impactful enough to remember?
  3. Reducible: do the visual aspects of the logo reduce easily for small applications? Think business card.
  4. Able to read in black and white: color is extremely subjective, so when removing color from the equation, does the logo maintain its impact?
  5. Lastly, there are a few more guidelines to the brand visuals we always want you to keep in mind.
  • Avoid making hasty connections or thinking “it reminds me of…”
  • First impressions can be misleading
  • Brands gain meaning over time
Black and white & color logos

Form first, then color: does the logo work in black and white as well as in color?



How will the logo work on apparel or environmental graphics?


In Closing

If you are able to evaluate your visual brand options from this objective lens you will be able to bring your new brand to life both strategically and creatively. For AOR, we’re extremely close to this option evaluation phase and we can’t wait to see what you think of our new brand.

Check back in for updates on our shoes-in-progress and important tips on what to do once you’ve evaluated your options and are ready to launch your brand in the marketplace.

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