Your Honor Awards: Hunton Andrews Kurth Merger & Rebrand

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Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP was the winner of the 2018 Your Honor Award for Communications. The firm was honored for its work in developing a new brand for the newly merged firms (seen here). For this profile, we interviewed Katie Abbott, the firm’s Marketing and Communications Director.HuntonAK_Logo_Color.jpg

“We knew there would only be just a couple of days between when the merger [between Hunton & Williams and Andrews Kurth Kenyon] was going to close and go public. From a branding perspective, we were struggling a bit with the timeframe; we wanted to ensure we had ample time to evaluate designs and rebrand properly. It was important to us that on “Day One” people heard one voice and saw us as one firm,” Katie said. “Engaging a branding agency was going to be a three- or four-month exercise so, realizing we have really talented designers and marketing professionals with in-house agency experience, and also being mindful of the firm’s budget, we decided to do it ourselves,” she continued.

Legacy Andrews Kurth Kenyon graphic designer Sarah W. Smith and legacy Hunton & Williams graphic designer Kathryn M. Drake worked together seamlessly on over 60 initial concepts, which were narrowed down to ten and then six. “As our teams worked through the process, we knew we needed a logo that would work in color and black and white, work across a variety of formats and channels (digital, print, signage, materials) and would be flexible in design (stacked, horizontal, icon),” Katie said.

The designs went through multiple rounds of revisions. Legacy Andrews Kurth Kenyon Director of Marketing, Ashley Nelly, legacy Hunton & Williams Chief Marketing Officer, Anne Malloy Tucker, along with Katie, provided high-level art direction and feedback throughout the process. The team had only been working together for a few short weeks, but the process moved quickly and smoothly, and everyone worked together incredibly well.

“Our team knew the strategy behind the merger and had an intimate understanding of the combined firm’s goals, the image we wanted to portray and what we needed in a logo. As such, we got to skip the whole creative brief process. Three logo concepts were ultimately presented to a brand/communications task force of partners, and the final logo was chosen unanimously…which surprised us.”

In a few short days, the marketing team was able to put the final touches on the new logo, color scheme and typography guidelines and apply the logo to a suite of refreshed brand materials. The new logo uses legacy Hunton & Williams teal and legacy Andrews Kurth Kenyon gray. “One of the benefits was that Hunton had just gone through a brand refresh. We got really clear on our messaging during that process, so we were able to continue in that direction while incorporating both firms’ color palettes.”

The logo garnered a great deal of positive feedback from the combined firm’s management and staff. “It was a great way to start as a combined group. From an internal perspective, it was a great win for us; combined firm leadership saw the level of talent on both sides and our ability to work together, furthering our role as a trusted advisor.”

Having a logo that was championed by firm partnership made the rollout seamless, and the firm was able to launch with updated branding on “Day One” as Hunton Andrews Kurth, setting the stage for the remainder of the brand rollout.

By Rebecca Edwards, Marketing & Business Development Manager, Williams Mullen, for the Fourth Quarter 2018 LMA Mid-Atlantic Region Newsletter

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