Southern Research, as the South’s premier scientific research organization, had a problem with too many facts. Too many interesting, painstakingly quantified, deep-industry facts that were standing in the way of reaching their audience. So when we were brought on to wrangle these facts into a single programmatic brochure, we asked—as one does—are these facts even necessary or are they a crutch? Might there be a need for deeper, more humanistic messaging and imagery that resonate with your different audiences? Because once we locate this new story—this people story—it should succinctly explain to new hires, current employees and donors alike why what Southern Research does, matters. And that was just the beginning.
Southern Research needed a distinctive brand that would resonate with an ambitious academic audience. We needed to develop a brand story that explained, from a layman’s perspective, what each of these sophisticated divisions full of scientists and researchers did. And why it mattered. A brand redux was necessary. Soup to nuts, we would need to determine the voice, manner, imagery direction, type style, brand guidelines—everything that would lead us forward.
After countless meetings with high-minded intellectuals, absorbing their stories about what excites them in their area of drug, environmental or engineering research we landed on a brand voice: authoritative but warm. A design aesthetic: clean, modern and future-facing. And an imagery direction: sophisticated but realistic, depicting simple, human truths in a compelling fashion.