Dr. Gilda Barabino, President of Olin College of Engineering, and Professor of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering is a biomedical engineer trained in chemical engineering, with broad interest in global health, systems, and interdisciplinary engineering education. President Barabino reached out to Trig for help overhaul her existing branding and to guide her in building a system that serves as the foundation of her brand identity.
In an increasingly digital world, personal branding has become an important aspect of telling your story. Your personal brand, the sum total of how you present yourself to the world, including, but not limited to your students, employers, funders, and colleagues is happening with or without your input. To stand out in a sea of information it is no longer enough to let your work speak for itself. To help tell her story, President Barabino collaborated with the Trig team to contextualize and develop a Visual Brand Expression and Language that would reflect her values throughout her digital and physical presences.
As a leader in her field and a pioneer for minorities it was vital for Dr. Barabino to share her journey and research across all mediums in a positive and consistent manner. Working with President Barabino we created a Brand Identity Development Strategy, designed and developed a Database Driven Website, and created additional Digital and Print Assets. Trig began our journey with President Barabino by completing a competitive brand analysis where we explored contemporaries in her field to determine the environment in which her new brand would live. While President Barabino had previously endeavored to develop an identity, it was important for us to ensure a successful experience by reviewing her current assets and strategies, and exploring what others in the field were doing, in order to position her appropriately. Through our tried and tested process we were able to help guide President Barabino to choose a Brand Archetype that was able to support what is true to the core of her mission: A primary Hero, with secondary of Sage. Hero archetypes are known to inspire and encourage others to take action. That expression combined with the "knowledge is power" overtone of the Sage archetype allowed for Trig to explore themes of vibrant color, strong geometric typefaces, and expressive imagery that capture both strength and transferal of knowledge.
Once an Archetype was established we moved into developing style boards that captured the essence of the archetype and also served as a north star for how we would create tone and assets for all digital or print materials produced. The use of strong, bold colors, and authentic imagery was incorporated in the boards to augment and elevate the work that President Barabino is doing.
After selecting a styleboard we worked with President Barabino to update her brand mark to reflect the research and work that we put into early stages. Once we had the analysis, styleboard, and brand mark completed we were able to begin work on a new website. By establishing a site architecture that captured topics President Barabino wanted to emphasize we created a low fidelity mockup that was then finalized with content based on the chosen archetype and styleboards before beginning the website build. The database driven site was developed based off of the high fidelity prototype created with Adobe XD.
The Barabino brand appears across a variety of digital and physical spaces. To accommodate this varied landscape we created a brand style guide with a number of examples of print assets, including business cards, letterhead, and digital assets such as Powerpoint templates, and custom illustrations.
In order to keep the process moving forward, Trig provided digital iterations of all brand development process milestones for President Barabinos team to mark up for any requested revisions.
During our work with President Barabino the world experienced something unseen in recent history, a quickly moving, airborne global pandemic. While Trig, as a firmly established virtual company, was well prepared to roll with the punches, it was an adjustment for the rest of the world. This global shift in operations did delay some of our communications with Dr. Barabino but we were ultimately able to complete the project to the clients delight and satisfaction.
I'm really glad to be working with the Trig team. It's hard to find people that just get you. It is comforting that everything they do is intentional - grounded in a process of understanding and expressing my vision. There is a beginning, middle, and end to their branding process, and it all ties together. Working with Trig has inspired my natural inquisitiveness to want to learn even more about branding.
President Barabino is an internationally recognized thought leader and highly sought speaker and consultant on race/ethnicity and gender in science and engineering, with particular focus on creating cultures and climates that support a sense of belonging. She has led a number of initiatives in these areas including serving as the founder and Executive Director of the National Institute for Faculty Equity. By integrating color, imagery, and tone that encapsulated the Hero archetype and voice, Trig was able to help elevate President Barabino’s already remarkable story. President Barabino’s branding now reflects the sophistication and unique value she offers in academia. It has truly been an honor to work with such an esteemed force as President Gilda Barbino.