The Art Directors Club today unveiled a rebranding that both accentuates its commitment to currency and relevancy in the emerging world of marketing and celebrates its authenticity as the original organization for global creative professionals.
Founded in 1920, the Art Directors Club is the premier self-funded, not-for-profit organization for a broad range of creatives -- creative directors, art directors, graphic designers, digital designers, environmental designers, copywriters, illustrators, photographers and others -- and the first international creative collective of its kind. The new identity, developed by Trollback + Company, New York, emphasizes that legacy by spelling out the club's name in the logo, a break from past use of the ADC acronym.
The new branding system follows the lead of the club's recently revised mission to "Connect, Provoke and Elevate" creative visual communications professionals around the world through its many events, educational programs, publications, scholarships and awards.
"We have a rich heritage as the original creative organization, and a sustained passion for embracing the future," said Doug Jaeger, innovation director at TAXI, New York and, at 33 years old, the youngest ADC president in history. "The club has expanded tremendously in programming and member benefits, both physically and virtually, and the new identity reflects that sense of engagement and vitality. It will make the club more visible, and is only the beginning of what we are about to do."
The ADC Rebranding Committee was headed by two club board members: Brian Collins, chairman, chief creative officer, COLLINS:, New York, and Jakob Trollback, president, creative director, Trollback + Company, New York. With input and feedback from Collins and other members of the board, Trollback and a team at his firm developed the strategy and design.
"It expresses a simple, blunt and immediate way to unabashedly clarify and reassert the club's leadership in the creative community," said Collins of the effort. "The Art Directors Club was the first club of its kind, and the inspiration for other creative organizations that exist today. This new identity has a timeless quality that aims to bridge that past with the future."
Trollback chose to replace the acronym logo as a way to highlight the club's legacy, even though the organization's membership spans far beyond only art directors. "Companies and organizations usually use acronyms in their branding to distance themselves from their past," he said. "In our case, we wanted to do the exact opposite and embrace our origins and heritage."
Ultimately, however, he believes a brand is truly defined not by its name, but by what it does.
"The Art Directors Club today is one of the most vital organizations in the creative field, and is comprised of people from every creative profession," said Trollback. "The name is both authentic and cool, which is hard to beat, and it seems very 'old school' to worry about somebody's literal reading of the name."
He says that while ADC membership obviously includes many talented art directors, anyone who believes the club is reserved only for art directors is missing what it really stands for today. "We are happy to invite all types of creatives to participate and experience firsthand the uniquely open, inspiring and generous community that regularly meets through the club and its programming," Trollback said.