It’s been a little over a month since we last shared our brand launch! We’ve been working busily behind the scenes here at the City to implement the new brand across all the many places where staff and the public interact with it. What does brand implementation look like? It’s many moving pieces that need to happen in a short timeframe!
We worked with our branding consultants, Guide Studio, to develop a proposed schedule for brand implementation – setting timeframes and key deadlines for the various elements.
Brand Implementation Initiatives
One-on-One Meetings with Each Department
(Pre-planning 1 month prior to implementation + Secondary meeting 2 weeks into implementation)
This summer, we had one-on-one virtual meetings with each department to assess their print and digital implementation needs. We then followed up with a secondary departmental meeting (en masse) to review brand guidelines and appropriate use of the new brand, as well as to offer departmental assistance if needed in updating documents.
Implementation Across Print Materials
(Pre-planning 1 month prior to implementation + Product replacement in Week 1 of implementation)
Our organization asked departments to limit their paper orders earlier this year in anticipation of the switch over to new branded materials. We audited and inventoried which of our paper products we utilize (versus those that sit unused), as well as identified which printed materials are more commonly requested online. We were able to streamline our print needs and ordered a limited quantity of letterhead, standard envelopes as needed for official City mail, and new business cards for many employees.
We rarely have print orders this large (especially when it comes to business cards). We had a large enough order by volume to price shop among area printers and come up with a new quarterly ordering system that will save the City money in the long run.
Implementation Across Web and Social Channels
(Pre-planning 1 month prior to implementation + Web and Social Channel launch in Week 1 of implementation)
Without completely overhauling our existing website design, we had to figure out how to change fonts, colors, and layouts to incorporate the new brand standards. Through this process, we also worked on finding inefficiencies and out of date information on each page of our website. This , involved modifying some of the colors that we use in our print brand implementation to slightly more vivid shades that meet accessibility guidelines in terms of contrast.
The City has various affiliated social media accounts for different departments, so the transition took place across multiple social channels and platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn).
Implementation Across Physical Infrastructure
(1st month of implementation)
When we moved into the new municipal complex in 2016-2018, branded signage was not installed in City facilities with the intent to add it later. This gave us the opportunity to add vinyl signage on public entryways to reinforce the brand through our internal wayfinding system. We also added a large format vinyl in our Council Chambers for use in photo ops and presentations from the Mayor. Additionally, vinyl decals will be applied to the network of Street and Public Works Department vehicles.
Implementation (and Auditing) Forms and Applications
(1st month of implementation)
Department by department, we reviewed all forms and are in the process of updating them to collect needed information (such as updating them to include emails!) and ensuring that they are as streamlined as possible. This is not a task we routinely set aside time to complete, so brand implementation definitely helped us to be better organized and effective in providing information to the public.
Brand Implementation in the Community
An effort that we are committed to updating (as we continue to find the old brand!) is updating community organizations’ pages that feature our old identity. We are continuing to keep our eyes open for areas where our old visual identity is present to update image files.
Culture Shift toward a New Identity
Internally, staff was overwhelmingly committed to the idea of a new brand and supportive throughout the design process. Consistent use of the new brand in accordance with our design guidelines is critical for our implementation to be successful.
Brand development proved to be the fun part, while brand implementation involved a significant amount of legwork. We’re thankful to the team at Guide Studios for helping us to develop a timeline to follow in brand implementation and helping us think through the highest priority implementation points.