Work

Revs Program at Stanford

Starting with a rebrand

As a multidisciplinary program at Stanford, the program offers classes across a wide variety of study areas, from design to engineering to literature. We were asked to create a logo for the program that met two specific criteria: be immediately recognizable and convey something of the history and cultural impact of the automobile.

Through rounds of revision with a small group of Stanford faculty, we whittled down our concepts. Some were too art deco, some felt too Flintstones, and some would make great motorcycle club patches but were too narrowly focused for an entire academic program. Midway through the rounds of review, we all settled on the concept of including motion in the logo. Meant to evoke a wheel and the notion of progress while being obviously automotive in nature, we settled on the icon below.

Ensuring proper design, we placed the logo against the golden grid to make things perfect.

Ensuring proper design, we placed the logo against the golden grid to make things perfect.

We matched the color palette in the font to Stanford’s brand standards and found a font that fit the theme perfectly. We’ve been especially proud to see the logo in use with the Revs Program’s Open Garage Series, which hosts small, personal events with automobile industry heavyweights like Chris Bangle and Carlos Ghosn.Watch the video below for some kind words from the Revs program’s director.

The REVS Bulletin

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This was one of those rare assignments where the criteria was wide open, permitting total creative freedom. There were only several design constraints, and those were that it had to be affordable to print and mail, relatively easy for Stanford to produce in-house with the aid of a style guide, and far more appealing than the average university newsletter.

Beginning with a variety of folded prototypes to decide on the ideal format, we chose a folded broadsheet that provided an interesting user experience with multiple content panels and no reliance on staple, stitched, or glued binding.

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We shipped hard-copies across the country — swapping notes with the Revs team as we collaboratively honed the idea to completion. The two-color styling embraces the Stanford brand color palette and simplifies the post-processing of photographs during production. The backside is reserved for treasures from the Revs archives — providing full-scale material to hang on the wall, and generating anticipation for next season’s issue.

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We oversaw the full production process from our Ann Arbor office. By working with a local printer we maintained a firm grasp on quality control, and we could not have hoped for better results.

Addressed and packaged at the press facility, each limited edition issue was shipped directly to the 500+ recipients on the Revs mailing list. The quarterly newsletter not only provides a look into the program’s interesting class offerings and supported research endeavors, but also shakes the hand of the Revs community. Email newsletters and website announcements are convenient, and there is undoubtedly value in such rapid communication methods. However, when strengthening the relationship with your audience is paramount to the success of your organization, printed materials express the integrity of your brand, the sincerity of your efforts, and the reality of your commitment to quality.

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We’re already looking forward to laying out the second issue of the Revs Bulletin. Visit the Revs Program website to learn more about the past, present, and future of the automobile, and check out this case study that outlines our creation of the Revs brand identity.

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