Meridian: Communicating Complexity, Articulating Purpose
For decades, Meridian Institute has helped its partners solve critical, complex societal problems. With deep roots in environmental work and an expanding set of issue areas, Meridian was an established leader in supporting solution development across sectors and geographies. Their work was exciting and impactful; it shaped policy decisions around everything from climate change to healthcare. But their outdated brand made them seem stodgy and dry—truly the opposite of their dynamic approach and passionate, client-centered team.
Ready for a significant shift, Meridian came to Briteweb with a clear need and objectives for a cohesive brand strategy and new website that would clearly articulate what they do—and underscore their position as longtime industry pioneers.
Driving Business Development
While those who’ve worked with Meridian know what they’re capable of, their brand communications and digital presence didn’t reflect the impact of their work. In fact, most prospective clients struggled to understand what Meridian even offers.
Briteweb’s ongoing engagement with Meridian started by creating a brand that reflected their professionalism and expertise—but also brought their energy and dedication to life. We integrated historically beloved design elements, like their globe motif, into a visual suite that infuses their website and collateral with color and movement. We also pinpointed the elements of their approach that keep them at the vanguard of their field, crafting messaging around their key differentiators and developing a set of communications principles that has been integrated into Meridian’s internal lingo.
Before & After
The Right Look and Message
Meridian’s previous logo was stuck in the past. It was easily lost among a sea of other logos from similar organizations; even more importantly, it no longer represented who they are.
Our design team started by workshopping ideas with Meridian. We ultimately created a new visual identity that fits in with the general brand tone of their peers, but also helps them stand out. Their globe remained, but its new abstract treatment also pointed to the nodes of connection that drive Meridian’s work. And many team members admitted that they’d never considered magenta as a key brand color, but loved it in action!
To help their team roll out their new look, we developed comprehensive brand guidelines that detailed the intention behind each visual element, logo specifications, color palette, typography, use cases, photography, and tone.
Next, we worked with Meridian to address their brand communications, starting with core messaging. Given the complex nature of the work, their communications had become packed with jargon and abstract concepts, which alienated prospective clients.
We worked with Meridian to reconnect with their key audiences, crafting messaging and language that is accessible, succinct and clear. To differentiate them from their peers, we developed a unique brand personality. This was applied to a tailored set of communications guidelines to help their team effectively apply their friendly-but-professional tone of voice across all communications. From there, we focused our efforts on Meridian’s burgeoning thought leadership: we established their Insights blog, held a series of communications training on writing for the internet (a new challenge for many policy-minded professionals), and provided strategic advice on a range of questions and efforts.