TU Updates Brand and National Logo, New Brand Guidelines Coming this Summer

By Joel Johnson

You may have noticed something different about the May Life campaign mailers hitting your mailbox right about now. Trout Unlimited has updated its national logo – the first update in many years. Over the past year, as Chief Marketing Officer, I have been looking at all aspects of the TU brand in order to help us better answer the question “why should I join/support TU?” In the last year volunteers, members like you, trustees and our grassroots leaders have been researching, designing, taking feedback and working to clarify the TU brand, from the logo to our brand promise. After months of design and rounds of feedback from leaders and staff, here is the updated national TU logo.

You’ll find the new logo is a really more an update than a complete do-over. In design reviews, we heard this approach was familiar yet appealing. It maintains our powerful visual equities, while also sporting a more modern look. We made four fundamental changes.

1.       The trout more distinguishable as a trout, livelier, an energetic fish you want to protect or catch

2.       Our recognizable blue and green colors were darkened and standardized for easier reproduction

3.       The font has been unified and standardized

4.       We designed the national logo to work as a leader of a “family” of logos, so TU programs, Chapters and Councils could have the option of high-quality standard logos of their own that were consistently branded

Why these changes? It is well known that a brand is not a logo, it’s the sum of an experience. However, one important aspect of our brand experience is the TU logo. The logo is now 15 years old, and has served us well. That said, it also had its “issues.” For example, the font was not commercially available anymore. The old logo did not make it easy to promote programs or giving levels with a standard look. TU guidelines did not provide chapters and councils with a clear path to incorporate the design into their own logos. Finally, and this rankled many members for a while, the fish was not obviously a trout.    

Please know that we have no intention of doing away with chapter and council logos. In fact, our recent brand research indicated chapter logos can be a source of pride, but our members also want consistent guidelines on how, when and where to use their logos. New brand guidelines coming this summer will express and define the TU brand, will offer several options for chapters and councils to update their own logos with clear design rules (including the option of keeping their current logo).

Here are examples of optional chapter logos within the new design. We will offer chapters several templates to choose from, if they decide not to keep their current logo. Here is a demonstration of the TU Business member logo, and an example of a potential chapter logo.

Simultaneously, we also developed and tested our brand’s promise in two member surveys. We tested and found the following statement “Trout Unlimited makes fishing better by protecting and restoring the most important habitat for trout and salmon” best represents TU according to a majority of survey respondents in both surveys.

We plan a year-long roll-out, and you’ll see this logo start to appear in national communications, like the newsletter, website and social media immediately, but it will take time to swap out the logos so beg your patience. This summer we will distribute a new TU brand book available to everyone with the guidelines for using the national logo, especially in coordination with chapter and council logos. This logo will influence future TU branding, including program and giving level branding. We will hold webinar trainings for chapters and councils in August open to all, and a branding workshop at the Annual Meeting in Scranton this September. We will move to liquidate our premium inventory and print materials using the old logo over the course of the next year as well.

For now, please do not use, copy or adapt the logo from this blog post – this image is low resolution. We will provide and distribute a high-quality set of logos on TU.org and to chapter and council leaders as part of the TU brand book rollout starting this summer. Our goal is to make it simple and easy to adopt. The brand book will fulfill an overdue promise for clarity and instruction to our many volunteers who want our logo to be a stamp of pride and inspiration. A very special thanks goes out to the many staff, chapter and council leaders, National Leadership Council representatives, and members who contributed to this effort, participated in the research, and provided thoughtful advice. For more information on the rollout, questions or comments, please contact me at jjohnson@tu.org.

Joel Johnson is TU's chief marketing officer. He works from TU's Arlington, Va., headquarters. 

 

Comments

 
said on Sunday, May 31st, 2015

This is horrible!!!

I understand the reason for updating the logo, but this is terrible, mainly the trout. As a graphic designer and professor of graphic design this is below average.

The type is better than the last logo, but the kerning needs to be tight up. The trout illustration is clunky and lacks proper portions and the fins are entirely wrong, not to mention where is the adipose fin. The Illustrator work is consistent rounded and sharp don't make sense.

The wave/water is non-readable as water and is to far from the type.

Louis DiGena
Passed NLC Represents
New Jersey

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said on Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Lou, thank you for your feedback and letter in Facebook and on the post - its been noted. We appreciate your thoughts and your leadership at TU in NJ.

Best Wishes,

Joel

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said on Sunday, May 31st, 2015

I'm sure this seems like something needed, however, I don't see enough difference to make this necessary or beneificial.  Seems like a lot of effort for a lot of us to make changes that have little impac t for the membership. Shouldn't we spend our time and resources on things the would actully be beneficial for our objectives and goals

 

 

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said on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Thank Ted for your thoughts and comment. Branding directly contributes the  health and well-being of any organization. This work is about more than a logo redesign, at its core we are reaffirming the TU brand promise which brings to life the mission for people, including prospective and current members. Please also bear in mind every day, TU is communicating with its members in many differnet channels - we seek to create an impression of a unified brand no matter where and how someone engages us. Forthcoming brand guidelines will share guidance on our message, our marks, and ultimately we feel that consistency and clarity will attract more members.

Thank you,

Joel

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said on Monday, June 1st, 2015

Joel,

I took it up to not just complain but revise the logo and cleaned it up.

What are your thoughts?

Respectfully,

Lou
 

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said on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Thank you Lou for comments, we really appreciate your effort. Your talents could really be used in your chapter I'm sure to develop strong communications to attract and engage new members. 

Best,

Joel

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said on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Joel,

You and your team are to be commended for this new branding strategy.  There has been a real need for a consistent look and representation of this organization across all levels (and chapters).  It looks as though this is on the way to being accomplished.  You are correct in pointing out that this strategic branding campaign is about a lot more than the small changes in the logo.  Bravo!

Chris Taylor

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said on Thursday, June 18th, 2015

I like it it looks way better than the old one. Nice job!!!!

Dan Roper

High Desert Angler Chapter President

Vernal Utah

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said on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Image looks more like a trout rather than a morphed duck. Much better.

Denny Douglas

Michigan

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said on Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Joel

Can I get a copy of the new logo in vector format please? Working on some new materials for Oregon Council.

Gabe
Oregon Council Communications Chair/Secretary

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said on Thursday, September 17th, 2015
A little over due Gabe I'm sorry but here ya go: http://www.tu.org/trout-unlimited-logos
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