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Web designer Sarah Giffrow looking at computer while sitting in front of pink wall
Apr 23 2019

The Story Behind The Rebrand

If you’ve been following Upswept Creative for some time, you’ve likely noticed things look a bit different these days. Don’t fret – our purpose and mission haven’t changed; just our brand identity!

Let’s be real, though: it’s not just a brand identity. It’s a first impression, an aesthetic, a mood, a visual representation of what we’re about. Making this change is not something we took lightly. Since branding is at the heart of our business, we asked our Creative Director/Benevolent Overlord Sarah Giffrow to give y’all a peek behind the curtain into our rebranding process.

Upswept Creative: What inspired the rebrand? And why now?

Sarah: I’m a little embarrassed to admit that this is something I’ve wanted to do for well over a year! I’ve been sitting with the feeling that our brand didn’t quite measure up to the quality of work Upswept has been providing for our clients. We’ve learned so much and worked to refine our skills and processes, and it was time to look at how we’ve changed, and how we can update our brand to better reflect that growth.

I think there just wasn’t enough space in my brain to really bring all of these ideas together until now. The stereotype about designers being too busy to work on their own brands or websites is very real!

UC: Walk us through the rebranding process. Where did you start?

SG: I started by thinking about what was working well for us, and what we wanted to see more of in our work and our clientele. Our values and overall mission were still on-point–the change and growth was more about who we want to design for. We’ve also worked on our brand voice and website copy within the last year. So, after looking at all of the various pieces, I knew it was the visual design that needed the most attention.

As far as visual design, the logo is where we like to start with our brand projects for clients, and it was the piece that really kick-started our own rebrand, too. I wanted to keep some aspects familiar–such as the teal color–but I definitely wanted the new logo to look cleaner and less literal.

UC: What was the most surprising part of the process? How about the most challenging (if you can pick just one part!)?

SG: The biggest challenge might have been keeping the finished logo under wraps for over two months! Our whole team was excited about it, and it was tempting to just blast it out everywhere, but we also knew we had to do this rebrand right. It was definitely worth taking the time to update our entire visual presence, which meant everything from our website to business cards to proposal templates. But, it did take a lot of patience!

UC: What advice would you give someone looking to rebrand or refresh their brand identity?

SG: Always, always start with your values. Businesses grow and change, and things are going to look different after 5, 10, or 20 years. And, well, what we want out of our work is also going to change, because that’s part of being a human being.

Does the mission you came up with when you started your business still make sense now? Does your visual presence reflect the nature and quality of the work you want to be doing? Looking at how far you’ve come, and where you want to go next, makes a powerful foundation for your brand decisions.

And, give yourself time and space. You’ll need time to do the work, and to really think about the hard questions, so plan for that. Block it out on your calendar, set aside that time, and make that commitment to yourself. You’ll also need to show yourself some kindness, because a change like this can be intimidating! It’s okay to take time to adjust to your new brand and the new way of thinking that often comes with it–as long as you make sure to plan for it.

If our story resonates with you, but you’re not sure how best to start your rebranding process, we’ve got your back. We can help you make a plan for your business brand with a Two-Hour Strategy Session, if you’re just dipping your toe in the water. Or, book a consultation with us, and you’ll get a taste of how we can handle everything from top to bottom.