Case Study: Meredith Digital
Launching a division’s brand identity for the world’s largest magazine publisher.
Meredith has a portfolio of very recognizable magazines:
In 2013 while working at Meredith’s in-house Branded Content services agency in New York City, I was tasked to design the identity for Meredith Digital (the name chosen for the publisher’s in-house new ad-tech division).
Timeline to deliver? 3 weeks. The new logo identity was to be unveiled at the annual corporate sales conference in Iowa–Meredith Corporation’s home base. Also, not just unveiled, but unveiled through a music video I had to create using crowdsourced employee responses to the question: “What’s your favorite D word?”. More on that later.
For Round 1 of logo exploration, the brief was broad: to highlight the D in Meredith Digital. Below are a few directions my CD thought had legs leaving Week 1:
Starting off Week Two, business leadership gave feedback to kill all brandmarks and focus on wordmarks.. while still highlighting “D”. Now, I’d have to customize the D inside the name Meredith Digital itself. Goodbye cute graphics above! 😭
Week 2 revisions: Simplified wordmarks
Hm… still not quite what executive leadership wanted.
The executive team had more feedback: first, they really liked the highlighted pink d in meredith from one of the earlier explorations.
Second, we needed to include icons in the logo to show Meredith’s four core pillar audiences: Moms, Homes, Lifestyle and Food.
Week 2: These were the core icons, but they would also need to belong to an icon family – so we rushed to draw up others.
The 2.5 Week Mark
Almost there, we just needed to include the word digital, then connect the word Meredith to the word Digital, and we needed an animated version of the logo.
Meredith Digital logo animated.
Funny story: the animation above is actually entirely made in CSS. I didn’t know After Effects then (I do now), but I could animate via code. So I made do– wrote the animation, did a screen recording, and shipped it off for approval. I was pretty impressed with that hack and 1 day left to go.
Last edit, include the tagline:
The new tag line “mobilizing women” speaks to Meredith Digital’s ability to inspire millions of women to live their dreams and everyday life in between, via brand extensions across multiple devices and screens including mobile, social, web and tablet. –Press Release.
Final Meredith Digital Logo on business cards.
Bonus: executive leadership also had me create a music video out of crowdsourced employee footage:
I took the folder of raw video clips in one hand, and reached up to the gods with my other – give me some divine inspiration?
They got back to me and said: Can we make them rap to “Baby Got Back”?
[2 Adobe Premiere Pro days later…]: 👇
Editing genius: I synced their responses to “What’s your favorite D-word”, to Sir Mix A Lot’s track: Baby Got Back.
Making this video was my personal favorite part of the project. I took what little I had to work with, and turned it out into a lot. Plus, I got to execute this as entirely my own creative baby. The internal team loved it, and the sales reps got a kick out of it. Project gone well!
Looking to commission a project like this?
Click here to let me know!
Take an inside look at my process for developing brands.
A complimentary online workshop. Follow at your own pace. Come back anytime.