Updating a logo

The life and history of a growing brand

Every brand has a life, has a history. As our businesses and organizations grow, so grow the brands that represent them. Makes sense right? But when was the last time you really looked at your logo? When was the last time you asked yourself what your logo actually means and if it still makes sense for what you're doing? In all honesty, we're on version 3 of the Inkind Design logo and we know full well that someday we're going to look at that ink splotch or our current font choice and say... huh. When did that stop making sense? We all grow. Our brands grow with us. To show you that you're definitely not alone and that this whole updating your logo thing doesn't have to be as daunting as it might seem, we'd love to tell you a story and invite you to join us on a trip down memory lane. This is the story of the life and growth (so far) of one of our favorite clients and friends. 

the journey at a glance

To kick things off, let's start by taking a look at the whole story. These three logos, from left to right, represent almost six years of hard work. Six years of passion and sleepless nights, six years of tireless effort and life changing experiences. Christa Preston traveled to Uganda on a whim in 2012 and basically just never came back. In her heart, she's always there, feet on the ground, making change happen. These three logos tell the story of her dream becoming a reality and an incredible journey of growth.

knowing where we've been

In this story, Oliva is inspiration. Not the Lugandan word for inspiration, but the living, physical embodiment of inspiration. Oliva is the name of a young woman in Africa for whom an entire movement was created. As a woman with Downs Syndrome, Oliva basically didn't stand a chance. In a society that demonizes people with special needs, she was about to age out of the early education program that had saved her life and kept her safe. With no options and no idea where Oliva was going to land, Christa stepped in and founded The Oliva Project. In it's early days, The Oliva Project had a simple goal, keep those young men and women safe. 

And, as with any brand new non-profit or small business, that's about as far as the planning went. Every day presented a new challenge and an opportunity to learn more about what the purpose of the organization actually was. We've all been there. We start an organization or a business thinking we know what it's going to do and be and WHAM the world turns you around and says "do this! This is what you're really here for." Knowing that might happen, we designed the original Oliva Project logo to be a little open-ended. In black and white you can see some of the early sketches for the Oliva Project logo and the logo in color is where we landed. Two things to note: 1. do you see the face of a child in the shape of Africa? 2. In the black and white sketches, on the top right, take a look at that stylized "O" around the logo, that'll be important later...

first steps toward major growth:
new name, new partnership

Being so small and so new, the Oliva Project just wasn't ready to take the leap into filing for their own 501c3 and there was still SO much more to learn. But The Oliva Project was still growing every day and, knowing that it wasn't going to slow down any time soon, Christa seized the opportunity to partner with KultureCity, a US based non-profit working in the Special Needs sector. With years of experience and growing national presence already under their belts, the partnership offered limitless opportunity for Christa and her own organization to grow and learn and find it's place in the world. With so much to gain, it was important for Christa's work to feel connected to that of Kulture City. And thus, Embrace Kulture was born. A new name and a new logo, both of which were designed to mirror the Kulture City brand while adding a little individual personality. See how the heart looks like it's embracing the child? Boom!

becoming a big deal

As time went by, Embrace Kulture learned so much from their experiences under the Kulture City wing. But, just like any other baby bird, there comes at time to leave the nest. And leave the nest they did! By establishing their own board of directors, writing up bylaws, and clarifying their own mission and vision, at long last Embrace Kulture was ready to take the leap and become their own independent 501c3 non-profit.

And you guessed it, new purpose, new structure, new brand. Now, we started this whole story by saying that every brand has a life, has a history, and is constantly growing. It's important to note, though that when it comes to totally overhauling a name and an image, you can really only get away with that once or twice in a brand's lifetime. No one wants to look wishy-washy, but everyone deserves to have a brand that represents who they are right now. If we're all constantly growing, it stands to reason that every day we're a little bit bigger and a little bit better and your brand should shout that to the rooftops! 

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So... what next? If we're not starting from scratch, where do we start? Well, considering there was so much Embrace Kulture out in the world, printed t-shirts, email addresses, domain names, and a bunch of growing brand recognition, we opted to keep the name and to revamp the logo into something recognizably similar, but totally individual. Having designed the previous logo to mimic elements of the Kulture City logo, we wanted to build something that was all Embrace Kulture. Click here to download a copy of the questionnaire we walked Christa through to kick things off! 

And here's another chance to see how the cake is made, the logo options below are 8 of the options we presented to the Embrace Kulture board of directors. What do they say to you? If you'd been in the room, which would you have picked? 

To learn more about what goes into designing a logo and building a brand, click here to visit our "building a brand" case study.

making the most of the final product

Drum-roll please..... we would like to introduce you to the new official logo for Embrace Kulture! Throughout the whole journey, we've loved every second of working with Christa Preston and Embrace Kulture. Their work is so important and their mission is so inspiring. We jump at any chance to get to work with them. Honestly, who wouldn't want to work with those amazing pictures and help to tell their incredible story! Click here to visit the website we designed and built for them or click here to visit our Embrace Kulture gallery page.

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