Friday, February 26, 2010

Rebranding Valentine’s Day

This blog post was submitted by Katie Pendlay, global designer director for STINSON Brand Innovation.

The professional graphic designers Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio at the Austin-based firm, Under Consideration, were invited by Studio 360 — the Public Radio International show hosted by Kurt Andersen — to rebrand Valentine’s Day. They analyzed the entire brand — everything from the heart icon, to the color palette, and from chocolates to Cupid. Studio 360 has posed similar challenges in the past: Pentagram rebranded Christmas in 2006; Worldstudio redesigned the gay flag in 2009.

Under Consideration started with the “logo” or icon of Valentine’s Day: the heart. It was decided that the heart icon was not unique to Valentine’s Day referencing “I heart NY,” AED defib signs, and American Heart Association. They arrived at an exclusive icon by dissecting the heart at 90 and 45 degree angles. This new shape forms a cradle that symbolizes not only a “v” for valentines day, but also two people coming together, unity, and partnership.

The color palette was also examined. Red, most commonly used for Valentine’s Day, is more widely used for Christmas, so therefore it is not unique to Valentine’s Day. The other Valentine’s Day color is pink. There is some equity in pink, so they decided to go with a more vibrant and contemporary shade of pink, magenta. A secondary color of dark grey adds a level of sophistication. Overlaying the two colors produces a third color, burgundy.

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