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Client:Word WizardServices:Brand identity, strategy and design, Creative direction

Brand identity system and Creative direction for Word Wizard

Word Wizard is a LinkedIn-focused business; company based in New Zealand, that specializes in social media content, B2B copywriting, Linked In marketing, to name a few. Head of WW, a renowned author, Lynnaire Johnston, and her team, proven experts in the writing and editing realm. I collaborated closely with WW’s founder and CEO Lynnaire to develop the framework and mission of the brand.

In the past, WW existed mostly in local places but in the last few years raised an online presence. Increasing interaction through social media content and workshops, they wanted to improve their visual communications.

WORD WIZARD

WW highly ranks on Linked In, leading with innovative industry insights and strategic practices. They run marketing activities and workshops. As they grow, their presence in media needed a recognizable, consistent and unified brand look. They approached me to establish a cohesive visual identity across all their marketing channels.

During 2020. Lynnaire published a book “Link Ability” which has seen remarkable success in business networking. This book owns a design that Lynnaire and her team utilized across publishing. But it was not paired well with the company’s identity. The challenge of this task was the presence of two different designed brands under one company. Word Wizard – a main and LinkAbility a subbrand, (namesake of her book). The goal was to make two identities capable of expressing themselves in a much visually conversational look. To accomplish this, I took a holistic picture of the brand’s long-term strategy. Which centered around the redesigning of WW’s brand identity. The second challenge was a time frame of one month.

TASKS – OBJECTIVES

At the end of the financial year in NZ, WW was just about time to improve its branding. We strategically agreed on brand reunite for the first-year chapter. Disciplines:

Visual branding:
1. Redesign visual identity – logo and brand assets (create instantly recognizable style, for the main brand – Word Wizard)
2. create a brand style guide
3. make two brands (Word Wizard and Link Ability) visually communicate

Verbal branding:
1. style editing 
2. Tone Of Voice, Tagline

Creative direction, brand strategy:
1. unify the visual and verbal within the WW brand
2. establish a brand management system*

*A brand management system helps the Word Wizard to show up everywhere consistently. It includes a brand style guide and employee training. It convenes visual and verbal into one language.

Before / After, Old and New logo

ACTION – SOLUTION

An essential part of the process was recognizing the brand’s dedicative and thorough approach. To translate that in an elegant and strong sign, led by women. The previous brand identity was in teal, a color that is mild, somewhat weak for Word Wizard’s prominent offer. The letters were crowded and cartoonish.  I created a dominant, and attention-grabbing wordmark. A more engaging logo design with the purpose to inspire meaningful usage of words in business. In a bright, blue color that provides trust and brings clarity of information.

The new identity preserves a stable attitude with feminine touches in the font serifs. It is set in Admiral blue. This tint of blue is especially attractive for the screens. I chose it because WW is mostly present in a digital world. The wordmark is applicable in horizontal (the main) as well as vertical position. With or without tagline, based on application. A unique, wordmark depicts the Word Wizard’s character. One that is trustworthy, reliable, and diligent.

The secondary brand color is silver. I’ve introduced silver-grey to balance the brightness of the brand blue. The use of neutral white background and secondary silver, allows identity and content to take center stage.

I also brought new brand typography into the brand kit. Primary typography includes DM Display Serif – for headlines and Roboto (variables) for a copy.

Two brands united
A brand identity redesign and the brand style guide are created with an existing LinkAbility in mind. Subtle blue and red of Link Ability are now under the guidance of an Admiral blue. The distinction is easier between the two brands that need to function side by side. Representing the company’s identity while respecting its strong DNA.

We brought the brand strategy to life by creating unique yet coherent visual identities for a visual system.

Four design solutions for the company’s LinkedIn posts

Verbal branding
New brand identity calls for new messaging. So I took on style editing, ToV, and WW’s tagline. I revised their content, searching for a brand’s essence. And while they are experts in writing, they are not as an objective for their own brand.

Tagline: Words! With a dash of magic. A refreshing tone that comes from a skillful Word Wizard. “!” as a sign which highlights the bright and sharp blue tone of the visual identity.

Four design solutions for the company’s LinkedIn image cover

We also identified UX microcopy, CTAs, and content structure. We allowed the usage of certain visual signs across network publishing. E.g. WW uses only a specific set of emojis that resonate with its brand rules.
We updated the brand’s tone of voice through the marketing material, a range of brand assets, and a Linked In company page. One that was more in tune with its audience and mission.

RESULT – THE OUTCOME

The whole process included defining a brand’s image based on voice, and the creation of a visual identity that communicates with the subbrand. We came out with an effective system of both, aligning visuals with the wording 1/1.

The new brand guide is a set of standards for the design of anything related to the brand. It ensures complete uniformity in style and formatting wherever the WW presents.

Now the audience is more likely to, without even reading content, recognize that is a Word Wizard.  If the brand represents outside of personal channels – such as in press publications – brand assets are easy to request and reach. It acts as a central reference point for all the WW’s publishing decisions, serving to keep everyone on the same page.

Three design solutions for Lynnaire’s personal LinkedIn page

Brand image
I developed a visual language that uses type and color as the main communication tools. Which then created a vibrant and recognizable look. Providing a brand guide that the team can follow and implement without outsourced help. They can grow and evolve from this foundation. Since they are content-focused, I chose the imagery with typographic elements rather than random photos and graphics. WW’s currency is words. 
The identity is applied to marketing materials, social channels, and the WW website. 

BENEFITS

A new brand outlook helped them to function better in a hectic environment of publishing. The united appearance improved customer experience. The audience is not more in wonder who the brand is when they stumble upon WW’s content.

The brand identities (WW, LinkAbility) have a shared design system, to bring coherence, flexibility, and their full suite of services under one unit. Crucially, the brand identities work in harmony, bold and pronounced in marketing contexts.

The rebrand marks WW’s move towards a powerful engagement in a digital medium, its main domain to reach international businesses.

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