Darlene dives into behind the scenes of updating a logo and a sub-logo mark for Nolan Consulting Group

by Darlene Veenhuizen

DASH recently had the pleasure of working with Molly Nolan at Nolan Consulting Group to refresh the Nolan Consulting Group logo and their sub mark, The Summit, which is used for their coaching program and annual conference. 

NGC is a client that I have worked with before on some design projects, and DASH was tapped to help them hone in on their branding. 

Kicking off the process with a lengthy questionnaire for the NCG marketing team, as well as a few meetings over zoom, we did some fact finding and asked some specific questions around what was working – and what was not – in their current branding.

Rebrand or Redesign logo flowchart

The problem: 

As the client was growing and using their brand, they became aware that they were struggling with how to use their brand digitally and in print. Nolan Consulting Group (NCG) needed clear brand guidelines and directives on what to use on social media visuals, their website, and how to translate their brand to fun merch for their clients. NCG was also looking for templates to use in documents and presentations for webinars, as they use these across their company daily in their consulting practice. Additionally, NCG was looking for an update to colors, and guidance on how to use color. 

The Summit, their program that is specifically geared towards their coaching and consulting community and is current customer facing, needed a refreshed logo. The client wanted it changed so that it looked like it was part of NCG but also a little more differentiated.

Because we knew the end goal was a brand guidelines document, and templates for both print and digital, we needed to address any logo, font and color edits first before creating overall guidelines. It was time to get to work and fire up Illustrator!

Phase 1: The Logo refresh process

As I got into the nitty gritty of working with The Summit logo, I saw that the Nolan Consulting Group logo needed some clean up as well. 

I always look at the structure of the main logo and see if there are things that need to be adjusted first before using it as a basis on any sub logo marks. When working with logo design and sub marks, it’s important to start with a solid foundation, then create variation. 

I like to create small rules in my logo – for example, the spacing from Mountain to type will always be 16px, and the N’s on either side of the word Nolan will be cut off by the mountain silhouette by 10%. These things make creating a sub mark easier, because the sub mark can follow many of the same rules. 

The kerning of the word Nolan wasn’t even, as well as the way the words “Consulting Group” were not evenly distributed on the bottom of the mountain. 

Some technical things in terms of the way the letters were “knocked out” of the mountain needed to be cleaned up so it could be used as transparent or as clipped letters when needed.

The NCG logo before DASH refresh:

 

The NCG logo after DASH refreshed the design:

Can you spot the subtle design difference between the new logos and the old ones? 

The Summit logo edits were a little more dramatic. NCG wanted to utilize color, so we mocked up a lot of color combinations and ultimately decided on one that would be used primarily for The Summit brand – the brown in their new palette. 

They also needed to have The Summit logo reflect the changes we had made in the main NCG logo, and DASH definitely cleaned that up.

The Summit logo before DASH refresh:

 

The NCG logo after DASH refreshed the design:

Phase 2: Brand Guidelines

Now that we had the logos refreshed, we could continue with creating the brand guidelines. DASH collaborated with the client on color palette ideas, color use, and font choices.

Darlene DASH Content Collective office sitting at her desk logo design process

As we began to help them define the brand’s visual expression for website and social media, we also developed social media templates. 

Page layout designs are best explored with some thumbnail sketches, so I got out my sketchbook and spent a quiet morning on the couches at the DASH office dreaming up fun layouts for the client.

Nolan ultimately decided to also hire DASH for reels creation, so creating the templates actually flowed really well into that design work, too. 

Merch design is so much fun, and can also use your brand in a way that is more loosely defined, in my opinion. Yes, stay consistent with logo use and colors, but some supporting fonts can be more varied, depending on the merch being created, and the audience/user of the item. 

Nolan has a conference (which DASH got to attend and present at!) this spring in Savannah, GA and we got to see our branding guidelines brought to life on Nolan and The Summit merch! 

We love what they created, and it felt totally on track with the brand. It got me thinking, why not create merch for your brand? Just make it on brand, make it thoughtful, and your customers will love it. 

Brand guidelines is one of the most important documents you can create for your brand. DASH has a process, a collaborative and research based approach, and strives to make your brand long-lasting by giving it a solid foundation. 

Do you need help with branding or a logo design?
Contact DASH. We can help with that.

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