Evolution of a Brand: Redeemer Pacific College

Bright Lily Creative is my side-hustle where I help small businesses establish an integrated online presence. I enjoy getting to know people, learning about their stories, and figuring out what makes them tick.  Bright Lily Creative allows me to collaborate with other small businesses, to translate their day-to-day operations into beautiful, functional design, and to share that vision with their customers. 

Redeemer Pacific College is a small Catholic college that operates as a teaching centre of Trinity Western University, Canada’s premier Christian university. I had the privilege of working at the college during its founding years, first as the Admissions Coordinator and then as the Public Relations Coordinator.  (I resigned my position at RPC in June 2012 – since then the college has rebranded itself as Catholic Pacific College and did not retain any of the original branding.)

It was through my job at RPC that, out of sheer necessity, I began to venture into the world of graphic design.  Over the years I designed dozens of posters and ads, I coordinated two website redesigns, and I acted as project manager for the rebranding of the college.

One of my favourite parts of the job was being able to create different pieces within a specific brand identity – pulling different elements of the college’s visual identity together in new and interesting ways to create a product that was easily identifiable as “RPC”.  Here’s a brief summary of how that brand evolved.

About a year into my job as Admissions Coordinator, I realized that our promotional materials were out of date.  Our logo needed a refresh as well.  This was the old logo:

LogoB&W JPEG

We wanted to keep the book, but balance out the lettering and give it a more collegial feel.  I enlisted the help of Rachel Pick from Mint, Creative and Rachel Pick Photography, and with her help and with an extensive consultation with the staff and faculty of the college, we came up with this:

RPCsealNewBlue

This is a cleaner, more balanced design that is extremely versatile.  This logo became the centrepiece of the new RPC brand, as we carried the logo and the RPC blue into the majority of the pieces that we produced over the following years.

The second cornerstone to the RPC brand was the overview brochure, also created by Rachel Pick.  The overview brochure (RPCbrochureRevisedSeal3) was meant to encourage students to learn more about the college.  Once Rachel had created the basic visual brand of the college, my job was to take that brand and extend it throughout our promotional materials.  I used that same basic design in our general advertisements…

RPC Spring 2011 quarter page colour high res

…posters for classes that we put up all over RPC and Trinity Western University…

Phil 333 Spring 2012 high res

 

 

Rels 365 Spring 2012 high res

Rels 366 Fall 2012 high res

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…our newsletter (Christifideles Newsletter February 2011 med), and other components in the design suite such as business cards.

While much of this work is derivative from Rachel’s original design, working within a specific visual language allowed me play with the boundaries of the brand and to crystallize what really worked and what should be avoided.  I learned that a single design element can be the foundation for a myriad of other design choices.  I learned to listen to my instincts; when something felt off there was usually a reasonable explanation for that feeling, it just might take a while to figure it out.

However, I think that this poster (peter stockland) may be one of my favourites.   The challenge for the Peter Stockland poster was that I had little visual material with which to advertise a very prominent speaker.  We had a great photo of Peter, but not much else.  I didn’t want to trivialize the event by adding a bunch of clip art, and there wasn’t really a single image that could encapsulate the lecture.  So I decided to capitalize on the clear, direct gaze of Peter Stockland and use multiple takes of the portrait to create the visual draw for the poster.  I played around for a bit with different versions, but it wasn’t until I used the eyeline to align the progression of close-ups that things really fell into place.

I also really like the typographical mix for the poster.  It feels balanced and clean.  Some of my earlier posters don’t have this balance, so it was nice to create something that felt even, easy on the eye, and visually inviting.  I had solved a design problem effectively and had created something original and attractive.  Mr. Stockland even went out of his way to admire the poster, saying that it was the best poster for one of his lectures that he had ever seen.  Not too shabby:)

While this is certainly not the sum total of my work for Redeemer Pacific College, I hope it give you an idea of what I was able to accomplish in co-creating and implementing a visual brand for an institution.

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