Identity Re-design:
North Portland Business Association

Re-designing a business or organization identity can be a challenging process. In addition to attempting to produce a strong new graphic symbol for the entity, it is necessary to take the possible emotional attachment to a prior image into consideration. Adding the design-by-committee aspect of working with a nonprofit organization, or large corporation, to the mix can make such a job much more complicated.

My local neighborhood business association was a dream client when it came to considering a new logo. There was little vested interest in the previous identity and the decision makers of the group were quick, clear and concise in selecting a design to represent their efforts.

The original identity for the North Portland Business Association (above) was a simple and amateur graphic representation of the acronym NPBA. It was usually only evident in the flag of the organization’s monthly newsletter.

The new logo, which reproduces well in one or two colors, projects images symbolic of the North Portland business neighborhood – simplified illustrations of the St. Johns Bridge, the Fremont Bridge and the blue herons that are native to the area. By not conveying images specific to certain industries or businesses of the region, the logo successfully represents all business entities in North Portland. The identity is used on decals for member business, signage for events, the newsletter and membership marketing materials and gives the organization a polished, professional image in the community.

The new North Portland Business Association identity appeared in the recently released Spanish book Logos; From North to South America.

You will find additional examples of identity, web and print redesigns on the Creative Latitude site, in a section called GRAPHIC makeovers. Designer Alina Hagen contributes her observations to the submitted design projects. Quite a few of my own redesign efforts are posted at "GRAPHIC makeovers." Creative Latitude is always looking for other before and after design examples to display on the web site - do consider submitting some of your own efforts.

(Note: My new book, Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities Into Successful Brands, contains case studies from 35 designers and firms located around the world. Learn more about the book on the Identity Crisis! blog.)

© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives