The Austin Stone Brand (2019)
Harmonizing Legacy, Sub-Brand Identities, and Modern Design in a Comprehensive Rebrand for The Austin Stone
The Austin Stone, a large multi-location organization in Austin, TX, with over 20 years of history, required an ambitious rebrand to unify their organization, sub-brand identities, and modern design considerations. As Design Team Manager, I led designers and project managers in developing a scalable, flexible, and memorable brand identity, working closely with the organization’s leadership.
Explore the brand standards we developed for The Austin Stone in The Austin Stone Brand Standards.
01. Sub-brand Identity System
02. Brand Overview
User Research: Understanding the Target Audience and Brand Legacy
We conducted extensive user research, including surveys, interviews, and focus groups, to understand the target audience’s connection to the existing brand and their perception of the organization. We also analyzed the organization’s history and sub-brands to identify core elements that resonated with the audience. This research informed the creation of a new brand identity that balanced modernity with respect for the organization’s legacy.
Testing: Iterating Based on User Feedback
Throughout the rebranding process, we involved stakeholders and users in gathering feedback and ensuring the new brand identity met their needs and expectations. By conducting concept testing, prototype testing, and user acceptance testing, we validated design decisions and made data-driven refinements to create a brand identity that resonated with the target audience.
01. Brand System Testing
02. Brand System Iteration and Revision
Cross-department Collaboration: Creating a Unified Brand Experience
As Design Team Manager, I led collaboration efforts between departments like marketing, communications, and product teams. This close collaboration ensured the new brand identity was effectively communicated and consistently applied across all departments, resulting in a unified brand experience and a smooth transition to the new brand identity.
Design: Developing a Comprehensive Design System
Our team developed a comprehensive design system that harmonized the organization’s history, sub-brand identities, and modern design considerations. We created a new logo system, brand guidelines, and digital presence based on a simple hexagon shape, resulting in a modular design system that accommodated various sub-brands while maintaining a consistent visual language.
03. Brand Logo Lockups
04. Brand Logo Guidelines
05. Sub-brand Color Palettes
06. Sub-brand Identity Display
Deployment: Implementing the New Brand Identity
We collaborated with the organization to roll out the rebrand across all digital and physical media, updating websites, social media profiles, printed materials, and signage. We also provided training and support to the organization’s staff and sub-organizations, ensuring consistent implementation of the new brand identity.
Results: Increased Brand Recognition and Cohesive Brand Experience
The comprehensive rebrand of The Austin Stone has been well-received by stakeholders, leading to increased brand recognition and a more cohesive brand experience across all channels. By focusing on user needs, cross-department collaboration, and a scalable design approach, we’ve successfully delivered a rebrand that captures the essence of The Austin Stone and supports its mission moving forward.
In 2023, we revisited the brand standards we developed for The Austin Stone and created a fresh, modern, mobile-first UX/UI language for the organization. See the final product of these standards at austinstone.org.
For a case study examination of these UX/UI standards, see The Austin Stone Digital UX.
Designed with Ben Johnson, Nick Galuban, and Jeremy Andrew for The Austin Stone