The Highlights: The Ins + Outs of a Brand Redesign

October’s Swerve Meetup was a big one. For the past year, the Center for Creative Economy has been going through a brand redesign. CCE will celebrate its 10 year anniversary in 2021, so it has taken time to evaluate our accomplishments and look into the future. “For the past year we’ve done a lot of soul searching, examining what we’ve done and where we want to go,” says Margaret Collins, CCE’s Founding Executive Director.  As we look to the future, we decided on new names, and designs to update and refresh the CCE look.

Now with an intimate understanding of the brand redesign process, CCE wanted to share this experience with Swerve members. Who better to share that process than the two people that we have worked closely with?

We were joined by Daryl Shaw of Royalty Marketing, who led the creative aspects of the CCE brand redesign. Jake Wharton of Womble Bond Dickinson also joined us to discuss the legal aspects to keep in mind when changing logos and names of programs within an organization.   

When CCE started the project Daryl led our team and marketing committee through a brand workshop. He asked questions to help us determine the CCE image and how it is perceived by its customers. The questions were directed at present and future goals.

Questions that Daryl asked were:

  • If you saw CCE at a bar, how would we be dressed? Would CCE walk in and say “hello” to everyone or would we wait for everyone to say “hello” to us? Would CCE be approachable?
  • If CCE was a brand that we already know, what brands would we be?
  • If CCE was a celebrity who would we be?

“This wasn’t something that happened in one or two days,” -Daryl Shaw

After getting a sense of who we wanted CCE to be as a brand, we knew we wanted the naming of our programs to be cohesive, which meant changing the name of our creative accelerator and the name of Swerve. Daryl provided CCE with names that fell under various themes like textiles, tech, physics, and artistry. Once we chose names that we liked and those that fit our new direction,  we submitted the names to Jake to see if we could legally use them.

Jake is a trademark attorney and began his presentation with the ABC’s of trademarks. Here are some highlights:

  • Trademarks have to be a source identifier, meaning when someone sees your logo they can identify it as being part of your organization’s goods or services.
  • You should start with word trademarks, then move into design trademarks, along with a combination of words and design trademarks.
  • Trademark rights start accruing when you start using your mark! But those rights only extend to the area that you’re using it.
  • To make sure you aren’t infringing on someone else’s trademark, you should complete a knockout and comprehensives search.  You will also use searches from the internet, USPTO, and Secretary of State to see if there are any similar registrations.

“When it comes to trademarking, we want to protect your right, but be sure not to step on anyone else’s toes,” -Jake Wharton

After working with Daryl and Jake over the past year, we’ve definitely made a few changes. We’ve already introduced Velocity, our new creative accelerator, but one of the biggest changes has been made to Swerve, which is now called Momentum. We will also be introducing Kinetic, a boot camp for idea-stage entrepreneurs in the spring of 2020. Check out our new logos below.

We were excited to share our new branding during October’s Meetup and provide a little insight into what we’ve been up to for the past year. Thank you to Daryl and Jake for your talent, time, and dedication to CCE!

Want to join the next meetup? See what we have coming up.

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