Refresh Vs. Rebrand

Think update vs. complete redesign. A refresh is a makeover, a new haircut to transform how a person is perceived, a new sub font, a new you. A brand refresh maintains a visual connection to the old brand identity, but brings it up-to-date with the current audience. A refresh is helpful when specific elements of the brand could use a more contemporary take. Depending on how established the brand is, rebranding can be a much more time intensive process, placing greater attention on who you are now and how you want to be perceived in the future.

Brand Evolution

I always tell my clients that though it may be daunting, needing to refresh is not a bad thing! Take a look around and most successful companies have evolved, from startups to those on the Fortune 500. Often, an update means the company has grown beyond its previous identity and is now ready for further reach. Both approaches offer an immense opportunity to strengthen the company’s presence and image in the eyes of their customers.

McKenzie Mendel Jewelry

One of the reasons I love my job so much is because of my wonderful clients – and this project is no exception. McKenzie, a fine jeweler based in Bend, Oregon, reached out to me regarding a brand refresh for an upcoming trade show to New York City. 

McKenzie’s brand, her namesake, acts as a backdrop for a series of collections featuring one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry in gold and silver, often set in precious and semi-precious stones. Since her jewelry presents a large variation of shapes, colors, and sizes, her main concern was keeping the design simple and refined.

This would not be the first brand refresh, it’s actually her third. We knew we wanted the M in script to maintain focus, this is something she’s always highlighted and her clientele are familiar with. 

The Inspiration

To get started we pulled together imagery related to the look and feel we were aiming for. The focus would stay on shape and line work from her designs.

The Logo Design

With our direction decided upon, we moved into logo design. McKenzie’s current logo was a capital M from the typeface Mathilde. We wanted to keep the hand written style script for the solo M, but aimed to improve readability of the full name in the new design. We chose to explore both a sans serif modern script font, along with two simplified serif typefaces to achieve a cleaner look. 

Original Design

New Brand Refresh Designs

Brand Design

McKenzie chose concept #3, which was most in line with the minimal, yet sophisticated feel she wants to embody.

For the typography, we chose a classic, highly legible and flexible pairing of Alda OT CEV and Omnes.      

We created the iconic submark with more focus on shape and the logo mark script. We included a simplified logo variation for use when space is limited.

Jewelry for Life

It’s hard to resist McKenzie’s jewelry, we can’t! If you ever have a meeting with our co-founder, Lisa, check out her custom McKenzie Mendel ring and ask her about the creation process.

To see McKenzie’s full line of jewelry and purchase a piece of your own visit