DARLING - brand reset, campaign and identity shift
Darling Media Company hired me to reset their brand. This project exists in a few stages, the first being strategy. I was asked to rethink the presentation of their world, and really what they were saying to their audience.
“The publication Darling sets the stage for what’s to come with the perfect use of a comma. Like the opening of a letter, the publication both greets the reader and prepares them for what’s to follow. “
- Fast Company
“You’re content is compelling and rare, you’re asking your reader to invest and be challenged. You’re passing down advice like a mother to a daughter, or being a good listener like a best friend. You’re starting a sentence, a conversation, you’re inviting them to look inside both the magazine and the brand. You need a comma”.
This was the fundamental base for the brand reset. They would be able to put their brand name at the beginning of any sentence, a rare superpower to have as a brand.
I also pitched them a bit of a redirect related to their content, they were always featuring deep articles. While they could still do that, they could simply put conversation at the forefront. These are letters back and forth between women, Darling would be able to jump into the podcast, or interview space in a stronger way under this new lens.
This concept of writing a letter also allowed Darling to make less prescriptive content. Whatever was happening in the world, whether they agreed or not, could be discussed in a more open way. This freed up their staff from the pressure of always having to say something.
At the heart of this though, they wanted to simply speak to women respectfully. They wanted to compliment them where they stand.
Campaign direction and identity was eventually built into my approach. We discussed the pros and cons of a brighter more personable logo, something more classic. All of the solutions improved on their current identity. You’ll see that design work reflected on the front end of this page. One important highlight here is the conversational ‘D’ logomark. I wanted to create a mark that would read as a comma, but also 'feel’ almost subliminally like an open mouth ready to speak.
In the end, the Darling team internally developed an identity and fleshed out their campaign with many of these directives in mind, which you’ll see near the end slides.
Darling’s relaunch was well met by their fans, they have increased their media presence, launched fresh video content under this new lens, and continued their path encouraging women on panels and live events.