BOOK 2 // VISUAL DEVELOPMENT GUIDE

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VISUAL DEVELOPMENT GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS REBRANDING



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R1 LOGO DEVELOPMENT 10 12 14 15 19 21 23

Brand History R1 Concept Logo Development Initial Rough Sketches Camp 1 Refined / Engaging Camp 2 Refined / Educational Camp 3 Refined / Creative

R2 LOGO EVOLUTION 26 27 29

R2 Concept Evolution Digital Comps

R3 LOGO REFINEMENT 32 33

R3 Concept / Engaging Refinement

R4 LOGO COMPLETION 34 37 47 55

R4 Concept Inspiration Logos Look-alike Logos Completion / Final Logo 6


1946

1957

1981

The first issue of Highlights for Children rolls off the presses, reaching 20,000 children, mainly through door-to-door sales.

Cover designer Herb Pinzke creates the “Smiling H” logo along with the rhomboid shapes on the 1957 cover of Highlights magazine.

Design consultant Jon Peter redesigns the cover of Highlights to include a rich illustration featuring children and/or animals.

1981-Present The bold red, rhomboid shape and “Smiling H” logo that were created in 1981 remain in use today.

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BRAND HISTORY Highlights magazine is a monthly children’s publication, geared towards kids age 6-12. The magazine includes wholesome, ad-free skill-building games, riddles, craft projects, stories, and the well known Hidden Pictures™ puzzles to entertain and educate children, all the while inspiring creativity. Garry Cleveland Myers and Caroline Clark Myers founded Highlights for Children, Inc. in 1946. The first issue reached well over 20,000 children through door-to-door sales. The philosophy behind the fun is to inspire children to “become their best selves by using their creativity and imagination; developing their reading, thinking, and reasoning skills; and learning to treat others with respect, kindness, and sensitivity.” The Highlights brand includes a family of products for kids ranging in age from birth to age 12, available in over 40 countries and 16 languages. The products include magazines, games, book clubs, websites, mobile apps, an education group, Zaner Bloser Inc., textbook publisher, Stenhouse Publishers, and teaching seminars. The Highlights logo has remained almost exactly the same since 1957. That same year, the iconic Highlights rhombus was introduced. Whereas the use of the rhombus and “smiling H” title are memorable, they are also in need of a rebrand to appeal to the modern customer.

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R1 CONCEPT The concept for the Highlights rebranding project began with sketching, beginning with loose and quick sketches, moving on to more refined sketching, then ultimately computer roughs. The logos that were chosen to move to the next round are denoted with stars. After freely sketching, the logo ideas were organized into three separate “camps�: Camp 1: ENGAGING Camp 2: EDUCATIONAL Camp 3: CREATIVE

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R1 LOGO DEVELOPMENT Logo development began with three key phrases, which resulted in a gaggle of rough sketches and 30 refined sketches, in genres symbolic, typographic, and graphic styles.

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R1 INITIAL ROUGH SKETCHES

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R1 INITIAL ROUGH SKETCHES

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R1 REFINED SKETCHES ENGAGING CAMP 1 ENGAGING: Captivating Togetherness One of the Highlights rebranding goals is to focus on creating engaging content that brings family together in a more present and meaningful way. Parents, siblings, caregivers, friends—people together creating.

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R1 REFINED SKETCHES EDUCATIONAL CAMP 2 EDUCATIONAL: Learning Through Play Learning through play is a core tenet of the Highlights rebrand. The brand will shift from a magazine to brick and morter physical spaces where children can play, sans screens, with caregivers and new friends. The activities and material in the new spaces will be educational in nature.

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R1 REFINED SKETCHES CREATIVE CAMP 3 CREATIVE: Exploring Imaginations Imaginitive play is creative in various different ways. The new Highlights brand will cultivate creativity by presenting copious opportunities for children to express themselves with structured and mostly unstructured play through art, theater, song, dance to name a few.

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R2 CONCEPT ENGAGING The concept of Round Two is to progress past the refinement of Round One and focus on a group or selection of logos that are working the best and refine them further. After a peer review process and client review, the logos that were selected to move on were then digitized and “digital comps� were created.

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R2 LOGO EVOLUTION Round Two is a curated selection of logos that made it past the client and peer review, gathered in one cohesive arrangement. These logos were then digitized into “digital comps.�

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R2 DIGITAL COMPS The next step was to take the chosen sketches and create rough digital mock-ups. Color, particularly with the Highlights brand logo, is important in reinforcing the child/playful nature of the brand, so computer sketches are immensely important to see in full color.

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The “H” to the right did not make it to Round Three because it looks too similar to the current “Smiling H” Highlights logo.

ts

TS

L IGH H G

HI

The “Sunburst” to the right was not complex enough and the circle was too generic.

highli gh

The “Huddling People” to the far right was chosen by the client to move on to the next round.

The “Circular HL” moved onto the next round after a peer and client review.

HIGHLIGHTS The blocks to the far right were too odd and confusing with two letters, H&L, and the thin logo to the right was too difficult to be legible.

HI GHLI GHTS 28



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R3 CONCEPT ENGAGING GRAPHIC Two of the logos from Round Two were selected to move into Round Three, which further refined their execution to a more professional level. In a surprise turn of events, a last-minute computer sketch resulted in the crowd favorite (the hand-drawn lower case “h� with sunburst.

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R3 LOGO REFINEMENT HUDDING PEOPLE: This logo turned out well, but ultimately was not selected. It is too “fussy” and requires too many colors to make it easily work from a production standpoint.

CIRCULAR H: The shapes in this concept logo were not quite sensical, therefore did not make it to the finale. The circles were too abstract and do not represent the soul of the brand.

SUNBURST H: This logo was the wild-card that snuck in under the radar at the last minute. It was an 11th hour idea that was pitched and the client thought it was “lovely” and chose to proceed with this logo.

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R4 INSPIRATION AND LOOK-ALIKE LOGOS Researching other brands and graphic artists is key to staying current as a graphic artist or designer. It is impossible to stay ahead of the trends, or on trend if you don’t know what the other people around are doing. All artists are inspired by what they see going on around them — from politics, to music, to food — the world is one giant compilation. Who does it best? Who is falling short? Evaluating other work “out there” is key to being able to self-reflect upon what you are also doing right and where you may be able to improve. The following pages illustrate some inspiring examples of what some other designers are doing right and what types of similar logos already exist in the market. Researching what is currently available allows you to prevent accidental plagiarism.

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INSPIRATION 1

Inspiration: New Identity Introduction I am in love with the Exploratorium’s logo. It’s imaginative, and can be reproduced easily. The whimsical sketches tone down the harshness of the black. The black adds a sense of mystery and wonder, reflective of the brand.

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INSPIRATION 2

Inspiration: Logo Anatomy The correct black/ color contrast chart presented in the DFW project is really useful. I had not thought to present a chart such as this to clients, and will definitely include this feature from now on in future visual standards guides.

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INSPIRATION 3

Inspiration: Type Specs The Sumo Logic designer presented the all of the type specifications well. Where to use the type, how to use it, which are the best pairings. This takes all of the guesswork out for the receiving designer. I can see the benefit of using a font pairing guide to stay on brand.

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INSPIRATION 4

Inspiration: Main ID (logo) colors What I find inspiring about the graphic designer’s color choice for the John Deere logo is the simplicity. Two simple pantone colors. This is easy to understand and reproduce. It’s uncomplicated and straightforward.

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INSPIRATION 5

Inspiration: Logo Don’ts The Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium has a second logo, specific to one part of the venue. I am particularly inspired by the employment of a graphic element within the logo that can be reappropriated to enhance the brand. The designer of this logo created specific guidelines on how to use the “dots” from the logo.

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INSPIRATION 6

Inspiration: Alternate Versions of the Logo Bruno Munari worked on this design project, “Variations on the Face�, in or around 1966. What I find inspiring about this is the large amount of sketches that he did to achieve the ultimate goal of a well-designed logo. Over 50 years later, the same sketching process applies.

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INSPIRATION 7

Inspiration: Handdrawn elements Something that I had not considered in my rebrand, that I’m now considering after seeing this project, is including hand-drawn graphic elements. I have included digital “doodles” that reinforce the creative nature of the brand, but have not included hand-drawn pieces.

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INSPIRATION 8

Inspiration: Extra Deliverables The additional deliverables for this brand augment the brand package. The paper notepads in particular illustrate more opportunities to use the logo and apply the style guide.

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INSPIRATION 9

Inspiration: Visual Cues A portion of the logo was reappropriated and used throughout this presentation as a visual enhancement. The red parenthesis draw attention to the product and reinforce the brand. It’s a clever way to use the logo.

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INSPIRATION 10

Inspiration: Logo Guideline One parameter that I had not thought to put into a style guide is the white space, or, clearspace around the logo. Logos are frequently crammed into places without the proper use of any negative space, or ample breathing area around it. Same with body copy. This is a useful guideline to add to a style guide.

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R4 LOOK-ALIKE LOGOS SUN & SPARKS There is a plethora of logos on the market that include a sun, sunburst, sun rays, and all things “sun”. The sun can be used to represent beach companies, pools, and energy companies, just to name a few, so use of the sun in a logo must be made with that in mind. The use of the “sun rays” in the new Highlights logo represents “bright” children, and positive vibes.

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R4 LOOK-ALIKE LOGOS PEOPLE HUDDLING & RAINBOWS Many school and daycare logos use the literal representation of people and/or children hugging/huddling/cavorting. This is an easy way to represent people together having fun in a group enviroment. The use of a rainbow in logos is essentially synonymous with children’s brands. The rainbow signifies inclusion and diversity, while also representing creativity and the arts.

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R4 LOOK-ALIKE LOGOS THE LETTER H Many companies use the letter H in their logo. Some of the more widely known car companies, such as Honda and Hyundai use the letter H literally and exclusively. The Tommy Hilfiger brand uses and more nuanced version of the letter H, as depicted in the upper right-hand corner. In the new Highlights brand logo, a hand-drawn H in lower-case form was chosen. The lower-case H in particular was selected to represent the brand because it is friendlier and more juvenile than the upper-case. The “curl� at the bottom of the lower case H was used as a memorable feature.

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R4 LOGO COMPLETION Following Round Three and comprehensive Visual Research, the “Sunburst H” logo was even further refined for a professional logo deliverable. The lower case “h” was redrawn by hand, digitized and altered. The “sunburst” rays were also created by hand and given a more organic and non-repetitive overall look and feel.

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HIGHLIGHTS’ NEW LOGO The new Hightlights logo design reflects the chlid-like nature of the brand. The lower-case H was chosen to represent a more friendly and juvenile look and feel, and the sunburst rays emanating outward in conjunction with the lower-case H are mean to embody the core values of the brand, engagment, education, and creativity. Use this logo whenver possible.

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ALTERNATE VERSIONS When the brand name is required, use the primary three-color logo in all lower-case typeface Tomarik / Introvert / 50 tracking, in C-4/M-79/Y-60/K-0, with custom H’s. When the symbol cannot be reproduced legibly, use the wordmark alone in the same specifications as above. When the primary vertical logo cannot be used due to space constraints, use the horizontal wordmark logo below. Use the black and white version (opposite page) when color is not an option.

Vertical Logo With Wordmark

Wordmark Logo

highlights

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COLOR VARIATIONS The primary three-color logo should be used when possible, but there may be circumstances when variations are required. If the primary logo is not legible or high enough contrast, use the following variations:

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BLACK AND WHITE When color printing is not an option, or a logo must be used in reverse, follow this protocol. For backgrounds lighter than 10% black, the varied gray logo can be used. The reverse (white) logo is to be used on backgrounds 50% black or darker equivalent.

h = 80K / dk gray = 60K / Lt gray = 40K 56



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