August 24, 2011

New Toastmaster Brand

Toastmasters came out with a new brand, replacing the brand they've used for eighty-some years.  actually the brand has undergone about 5 revisions in those eighty-plus years, but there was a general consistency among all those revisions.

My initial reaction was something along the lines of, "They spent money for this?" I did not care of the logo at all.  It was too generic...actually, I still think it is, but I cannot come up with an alternative.

One big reason for the logo change is that the old logo showed a globe positioned such that the center of the design was in the Atlantic.  All of the clubs on the far side of the globe might feel a bit shafted because they weren't graphically represented.  I get that.  My first thought was that maybe they should  just use a different map projection.  Preferably one that showed all of the continents.  I get that they probably wanted to keep the same general shape of the logo and they wanted to emphasize the name of the organization, which the old logo didn't do.

Unveiled with the new logo was a whole set of new guidelines for use of the logo.  THIS is where the real effort lies.  The emphasis has really been on the logo in my opinion, when the real deal is the new brand, which goes way beyond this one graphic.  Toastmasters International unveiled the logo with guidelines on it's use, a series of other graphical elements, instructions for use, and even a series of fonts they prefer for different mediums.  The focus on the re-branding is to consolidate efforts between the 15,000 or so clubs.  That effort is really sharp.

My only issue now is simply one of updating old files and help creating new ones.  I put together a simple sign-up sheet for members to volunteer for roles and I had to spend a lot of extra effort to incorporate the graphics.  Sure, Toastmasters International gave us some examples, but I had to do a lot of fiddling around to get my documents squared away.  Instead of giving me just an agenda with a nice approved header, I could have more readily used just the finished header graphic.  My sheet was landscape, not portrait, so I had to edit things even more in order to make it consistent with the establish guidelines for use.

Right now I have the resources to do that, but many other club officers in my position would not.  I'm just saying a little more effort higher up in the organization would pay huge dividends down the line.  One finished graphic that takes 15' to produce at the International level could save 156 days of effort at the club level.

Think about it......

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