Who Do You Call When Your Branding Program Needs a Rebrand?

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The world’s first masters in branding program at the School of Visual Arts celebrates ten years with visual identity and rebrand campaign by Jones Knowles Ritchie
Who Do You Call When Your Branding Program Needs a Rebrand?

​Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) today reveals a new visual identity and rebrand campaign created for the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Masters in Branding program in celebration of its ten year anniversary. Founded by Debbie Millman and Steven Heller, the SVA Masters in Branding is the world’s first graduate program of its kind.

The obvious question becomes, where do leading experts in branding turn to when they need a rebrand? For Millman, there was no other choice: “Working with JKR has been the best agency experience I’ve ever had. Period.”

A campaign called 'Branding at the Speed of Culture' identifies and celebrates the impact of some of the most iconic and controversial cultural objects of today, including the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, the Colin Kapernick jersey, and the MAGA hat. The campaign is intended to cement SVA’s position as the leading choice for those pursuing a career in branding, and to inspire students everywhere to create tomorrow’s culture-defining objects and brands.

Tosh Hall, JKR’s global chief creative officer and faculty at the program for the last five years said, “We’re seeing talent and companies alike becoming much more interested in how to move business forward with creative, brand-led ideas rather than traditional marketing and analytics. As demand for this kind of thinking increases, the bar for culturally relevant work rises. The SVA Masters in Branding is widely regarded as a feeder for rising talent into top brands, agencies and consultancies, where culturally relevant campaigns are no longer an aspiration, but a necessity.”

Marketing remains one of the most popular graduate programs, but there’s evidence to suggest that students are choosing alternative paths to a traditional MBA. According to a 2019 study by Poets & Quants, the Top Ten business schools in the US have reported significant declines in MBA applications for the last two years.

The internationally acclaimed program has given over 300 students across the last ten years the tools and skills needed to ensure success and longevity at top brands, agencies and for some, their own companies. “We’re so proud that the SVA Masters in Branding, which started as an experiment, now has a ten year track record of discovering and developing a generation of great brand builders. We look forward to continuing to evolve that legacy over the next decade and beyond,” said founder Debbie Millman.

The new identity never stands still, always rearranging and repositioning based on environment, while a first-of-its-kind connective typeface features three levels of weight that crashes together and constantly redefines itself at speed. With help from designer Berton Hasebe and Commercial Type, the traditional construct of ligatures is amplified to connect whole words. The colour palette was developed in collaboration with Pantone Colour Institute, the world’s authority on colour. Taking inspiration from top cultural moments and forward-looking trends within the world of color, the color palette balances the vibrancy and energy of cultural moments taking place around the world. The brand palette will change annually to reflect cultural trends made possible by an ongoing partnership with Pantone Colour Institute Colour Experts.

"JKR’s design work on our new identity, flags, posters, or instagram ads is likely the first moment students will learn that a program like ours even exists — opening up a world of possibility and potentially igniting the spark that changes culture forever." said Debbie.

SVA will kick off the milestone with a first of its kind conference on April 30, 2020 featuring graduates of SVA Masters in Branding and hosted by Debbie Millman and Tosh Hall. Millman and Hall will give a behind the scenes look at the development of the program’s new brand identity, examine the challenges and opportunities creatives have to design for a culture in constant motion, and end with a retrospective on the last decade of design and culture.

For more information visit here.

Branding at the Speed of Culture.
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