The Rebirth of a Brand

May 5, 2015

Founded 90 years ago, The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) has promoted promoted education quality through the implementation of accreditation standards and procedures for distance learning institutions. Spanning its 90 years of existence, DEAC has experienced paradigm shifts that has taken distance learning into the vast, and fast, space of digital opportunities. As the industry evolved into this digital space, DEAC found itself needing to evolve their antiquated brand to their now innovate environment.

One of the challenges was how to honor the 90 years of recognition and proven history, while transitioning the organization’s branding to meet not only today’s modern methods, but tomorrow’s innovations. Interviewing key stakeholders and immersing ourselves in the organization’s knowledge and culture offered Varident a multi-dimensional, first-hand view. Through one-on-one conversations, the attributes of the new identity logo was planned. Color, typography, tone, form, usage, were carefully decided to bring together the past, present, and future of the DEAC brand.

Following is a view of the previous identity logo and the new identity logo.

As the identity logo was finalized, a system of standards was being designed. For organizations (small and large,) who aim on building equity in their branding, a design standards guide would help in enforcing brand attributes across the entire communications system (both tangible and intangible.)

In implementing an updated brand, the breadth of offline and online identity materials also needed to be redesigned. All of the old needed to be replaced with the new. There could be no stone left unturned. DEAC’s stationery system, media kit, brochures, conference materials, exhibit panels, and more, were all redesigned to meet the new brand standards. DEAC’s online communication system, its web site, content, applications, and more, were updated to drive the new brand forward.

Launching the new brand to DEAC’s wide audience would be the final phase, although the most sensitive. After decades, an evolved brand would demand the organization to bring awareness and explanation to its constituents. Varident worked closely with DEAC to ensure the message was not only properly expressed, but also encountered by each organization audience member and prospect. Through the use of both traditional communications (e.g. announcement cards) and non-traditional communications (e.g. interstitial ads,) the final launch phase would be delivered. And the on-going feedback, well worth the organization’s effort.

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