08 May PS Brand Refresh!
As you may or may not have noticed, we have been working hard on our brand refresh over the past year. The official change began when we were having conversations with our customers about the importance of brand consistency, but realized that we didn’t have a strong platform to stand on ourselves! Then, taking a look around the office, we discovered that had been making a lot of our brand decisions on a product to product basis, rather than sticking to a consistent “look” or “feel.” So, thus began our transformation into the PS you see today!
Taking the time to strategically work on ourselves has been the most challenging part of the whole process. While we’re always committed to working hard for our customers, we knew it was past time to be a little selfish and improve our own look. As with anything, we knew this transformation wouldn’t happen overnight, so spreading it out over the course of a year was much more our speed. So, when we were officially ready to dive in, we started with the discussion of name and logo.
The (Sort of) New(ish) Logo
You could argue that our brand refresh transformation has taken longer than a year, because we really began deviating from the original Promotional Solutions logo back in 2013. While our old Promotional Solutions logo and icon was fine for the past, we knew that in the modern days of design, we needed something much simpler stylistically. Besides that, long words like “promotional” and “solutions” are just generally tough to fit into a small 1 color imprint area! So, we made it our focus to incorporate an icon that got to the point and left no questions about who we were. Enter the PS square!
Once we began incorporating our new PS square into branded product in 2013, we didn’t fully commit to ditching the Promotional Solutions name completely. This time around, we decided to keep the PS concept and dismiss the Promotional Solutions wording, for the most part. While our name is still technically Promotional Solutions, we mainly wanted to be identified by that bold PS, which breaks out of its square box and contains connected clear space leaving room for creative interpretation! We also simplified the icon even more by only using it in grey rather than the 2 contrasting colors that we were using before.
About The Colors
In this transition to a more simplified icon, we also felt like our traditional red and grey colors were limiting us in product ideas. In an industry of over 900,000 products, that definitely isn’t something that should be happening! It was officially time to graduate from “million dollar red” into a scheme that was less corporate and a little more contemporary and fun. Even before we were using bright and beautiful colors purposefully, we had been subconsciously gravitating toward them and adding them in wherever we could to pack a punch. So, it was time to take matters into our own hands and make our brand fully supportive of what we were naturally doing as a company. Since we craved that freedom to mix and match colors, we added a few punchy options to help us get a look that was more in tune with our aesthetics. We think our new palette has allowed us to do more experimenting and it has definitely helped us have more fun with picking out products!
What the Font?
We began using more typographic elements when we introduced the PS icon in 2013 but again, didn’t officially commit to changing much up at that time. We had decided to use the PS as a play on postscript (like in a letter) and were having a lot of fun with flexing our creative muscles in doing that. The only problem there was, we were stuck in a deep Helvetica rut. While we know there have been strong cases made about Helvetica, I think we can all agree that it isn’t the most original typeface on the market. So, even though everything was looking consistently the same, we didn’t feel like it was helping us make the bold statements that we wanted to. Once again, we wanted the ability to mix and match our typefaces and to make the typography and sayings something that stood out about our brand. So here’s what we’re working with now:
We chose Uniform in two widths in order to carry a consistent core look and also because it’s description calls it “a very versatile solution to complex typographic needs.” Bingo! Then, for a little flair, we chose to add Wisdom Script as a fancy font used for emphasis. With our fonts officially selected, we slowly began sneaking them into graphics and print design. Did you ever notice?!
It wasn’t until we needed trade show materials this winter that we made the solid commitment to all of these branding elements, though. When faced with a tight deadline and a need to impress college students, it was time to stop taking baby steps and start running with it! Now that we’ve taken the leap, we’re officially done with holding back. There is still plenty of work to do- including a website facelift, a plethora of self-branded product and just generally getting ourselves out there more- but now we’re ready to keep improving and making some big strides!
At the core, we really haven’t changed much, besides having the overall feeling that we have a more solid foundation to stand on. Through all of this change, the one thing that has and will always stay the same is our passion for good products and good design. We can’t wait to keep bringing those elements to our customers and incorporating them ourselves with a fully refreshed face!