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Rebrands: Hillary Clinton and American Airlines

Image source: Hillary Clinton Office

Creating an impact probably comes naturally to Hillary Clinton, so the silent, under the radar approach to launching her new website – simply uploading a new homepage – has, as I’m sure her team anticipated, caused a stir around the world. With an image of her and her name simply written next to it, the silent change has caused more questions than answers and gained a raft of international publicity pondering what her next move will be. What this minimal shift illustrates is even a slight change to a well-known brand, can travel across the world and open itself up to interpretation in moments.

A raft of news pieces have been generated around the homepage, with some commentators like Alex Kantrowitz of Forbes claiming that the font used “basically screams campaign“. Can the power of a typeface alone really herald a major political move? With Camp Clinton remaining tight-lipped about her presidential intentions it appears that the media audience is now taking cues from anything they can.

With any rebrand, the typeface and imagery are pillar points that can be used to help ensure you take an existing audience with you, but a main purpose of rebranding is the aim of bringing in a new audience. If Hillary is intending to run for office, she will probably undergo a little personal transformation too, to both persona and image. Subtle tweaks, but significant enough that they carefully position her for the future.

She isn’t the only big US brand looking at an overhaul. After 40 years, American Airlines sought to future-proof its identity and catapult itself into the new tech age by rebranding. They took a different approach, with no subtle changes but instead opted for a media announcement, launch event and a global proclamation of its intentions. The company’s new livery, brand colours and the old Helveticas-style type has been given a modern, yet symbolic twist to represent the dynamism they are hoping to bring to the market.

Image source: Design Boom

The need to revise and update the American Airlines brand has been apparent, as they have lost market share, so creating an impactful image refresh, whilst keeping true to its heritage and brand principles is vital. Opting to ditch the classic Massimo Vignelli design (left – a decision that hasn’t received universal acceptance from the  design community), for something more modern, the brand evidently believes it is moving in the right direction. Whether you embrace the new design, or not, the rebrand creates ‘talkability’ and places the company back on the news agenda.

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