It’s a natural reality that trends come and go like traffic on the interstate. Companies are well aware of this fact and will seek to rebrand their company to keep up with the world and its changing environment. To rebrand a company is to flip their overall image in the eyes of their consumers and the general public. A successful rebrand not only has to be current and modern, but also has to keep this company’s specific audience and goals in mind, and they strive to retain the inherent values that the company builds over time.
I knew I wanted to entirely rebrand a company. For this project, I eventually ended up deciding on H&M for my choice of business. After some deliberation, I realized that H&M could be rebranded in order to reach a much broader audience. With the recreation and redesign of their logo, website, letterhead, business card, and magazine spread, I sought to project H&M in a higher-class market.
H&M’s current audience largely spans the middle class. This audience is most likely the type to buy multiple items of clothing at a time. H&M’s speedy clothing production and vast marketing reaches 61 countries in 3,700 stores. They are often associated with similar inexpensive brands including Forever 21, Cotton On, Express, Old Navy, and ASOS. I aimed to focus their company brand image and morph their design into a chic designer company. In doing this, I could not only appeal to the middle class with their affordable prices, but I could also appeal to the upper class with the chic design, thereby emulating companies like J. Crew, Zara, BCBG, or Calvin Klein. In terms of age range, it will stay at or around H&M’s current target audience, which ranges from late teens to early 40s for men and women. H&M’s product line as of now contains inexpensive, simple pieces of clothing, realistically made to last about a year or two when worn regularly. The changes I made in their branding model impacted the overall impression of their products, thereby making them feel more extravagant. By association, the high-end design allows for H&M to reach greater price margins and exponential perceivable value. I noticed in my research that there were multiple examples where H&M’s high-end photoshoots and advertising photography greatly contrasted their lower-end, warehouse-feel of their branding. I aimed to make both elements, the ad campaigns and the branding, feel like they were from the same world and had the same impact. The message I wanted to get across with this company redesign was that H&M is a serious, stylish company despite their very affordable prices.
Compared to its predecessor, H&M now looks like a universally transformed company. With the changes made to their brand, H&M now gives off an aura of sophistication and an elegant flair.
The logo change was one of the most drastic. I morphed the former logo, which contained a sketchy sans serif font in a bright red color into a serif font in black. The new font contained a sophisticated contrast of thick and thin widths of line in the formation of each character. It gives off an impression of class.
I next changed their overall composition in their branding approach. I took away much of the bright red and black blocky street style and replaced it with contrasting stripes and bold framework. In terms of color palette, I chose some elegant shades of calm browns, blues, and grays to contrast the bold black of the logo. I used their pre-existing high fashion photography in the website, business card, and 2-page ad since it now flowed very well with the new brand.
In terms of the advertising campaign, I stuck with their “Conscious Collection” title that they had begun this year, but I chose my own fonts (from the Futura typeface) from which contrasted both thick and thin type for a dramatic effect.
In my website design, I chose a very linear, clean web design with easy, logical navigation. I made sure to highlight both high-end photography as well as the product images themselves on Egan 4 the home page. I was very conscious of using key design elements to create interest and contrast in type, color, and image.
In the 2-page advertisement, I wanted to give the ad dimension by showing the image of the model to the left peeking behind the focus image from the Conscious Collection photoshoot. I again varied the type choice and color to give the ad a pop of color and make the message very clear.
In terms of the letterhead and business card, I simplified (since the focus of these two applications should be the message rather than the design) and made the focal point this simple stripe design element. On the back of the business card I brought back the high-end photography to make the business card stand out. I had considered using a die-cut in the business card at one point but the overall look came across more like a law office and didn’t give the reverse of the card that wow factor I was looking for.
Finally, in my product design, I used a play on words, my own invention called the “conscious calico,” and designed an outfit that would fit in nicely with the chic new style of the H&M brand. It has largely a spring-season feel to fit with the spring photography used in the 2-page ad and the business card reverse. All of these brand design applications work together cohesively and attract the eye and stimulate the audience with appealing incorporation of typography, photography, and graphic design.