Category: News

Solid teams up with Consort Partners.

By combining our services with those of Consort Partners, we can move your brand forward like never before.

Solid teams up with Consort Partners

A PARTNERSHIP THAT MEANS GREAT NEWS FOR OUR CLIENTS

The Solid Strategic Partner Network has been created to offer services that complement our own thanks to a growing number of people and companies who are recognized experts in their respective fields. Working together as partners we deliver comprehensive solutions integrated across multiple channels in ways that are not common with most traditional agencies. Our partnership with Consort Partners, for example, gives our clients access to Kathy Johnson – a highly regarded PR and positioning strategist and her team of senior PR professionals, journalists and entrepreneurs. Based in Silicon Valley with outposts in Austin and London, Consort Partners has worked with established tech brands as well as smaller companies introducing disruptive technologies and business models. This partnership enables us to work on PR and branding efforts in ways that are more agile and collaborative than what you get from agencies that operate in silos. Our ultimate goal is to provide our clients with best-in-class solutions that increase awareness, establish differentiation and create preference for their brands.

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MEET KATHY JOHNSON

Our Strategic Partner / Director of PR Strategy has built quite an impressive career

In 2004 Kathy Johnson co-founded Blinkx, the world’s first video search engine. Her evangelism of disruptive mobile and search technologies garnered global media attention including appearances in international TV, newspapers, online media, radio, and business and lifestyle magazines. In 2006 she co-founded Consort Partners, now a leading technology PR firm with clients such as King.com (Candy Crush Saga), Pinterest, Sprint, FreedomPop, and Dictionary.com, among others. Kathy was voted “2004 Agenda Setter” by silicon.com alongside Steve Jobs, Meg Whitman, and Chinese Premier Hu Jintao. She was also a Finalist for the Stevie Awards for the Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award 2008.

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TOGETHER IS BETTER

By combining our services we can provide our clients with better branding solutions

Consort Partners is comprised of seasoned entrepreneurs, journalists, marketers and PR professionals, and provides public relations, social media, marketing and corporate advisory services to help companies achieve their strategic objectives. The combined skills, experience and resources of Solid Branding and Consort Partners enable us to substantially expand the solutions we can provide to our clients, and help them successfully address a variety of brand challenges, including:

BRAND LAUNCH PROGRAMS
Develop corporate as well as products/service brands.

REBRAND PROGRAMS
Update/refresh existing brands due to M&A activities or changes in business focus.

POSITIONING PLATFORMS
Craft positioning strategies designed to establish positive differentiation, leading to brand preference.

BRAND STORYTELLING
Write compelling and engaging brand stories based on sustainable strategic foundations.

BRAND MARKETING CAMPAIGNS
Produce integrated branding campaigns designed to deliver results.

MEDIA AND INVESTOR RELATIONS
Create newsworthy content designed to influence the media and investor communities.

Most importantly, the two firms know how to work side-by side, leverage each other’s strengths, and offer clients a seamless and reliable experience. To learn more, please drop us a note. We’ll be happy to tell you a bit more about how we can move your brand forward…together.

Wave wins a GOOD DESIGN award.

We’re very proud, and humbled, that the Wave AI System received a coveted GOOD DESIGN award for product design.

Wave wins Good Design Award

we just designed The world’s fastest AI system

We are proud to announce that we just received a GOOD DESIGN award for the Wave AI System we designed for Wave Computing – a leading Artificial Intelligence company based in Silicon Valley. The Wave AI System is considered one of the fastest (if not THE fastest) machine learning computer in the world. The product design was part of a comprehensive rebranding initiative managed by Solid Branding that also included brand identity and website design. To deliver the award-winning industrial design, Alfredo Muccino of Solid Branding worked collaboratively with Scot Herbst, our Strategic Partner / Director of Product Design and his talented team of designers.

ABOUT THE GOOD DESIGN AWARD

One of the world’s most prestigious programs for design excellence

Started in 1950 by architects Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames and Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., the annual GOOD DESIGN awards program recognizes the very best design at a global level. The competition reviews entries based on design and innovation, sustainability, branding, ecologically responsible design, human factors, technology and more. This year, the competition received a record number of submissions representing the most important and critical mass of influential corporations from over 47 countries. The 68th GOOD DESIGN jury met in Los Angeles and New York and selected over 900 product designs and graphics deemed worthy of the GOOD DESIGN Award for Design Excellence.

SHOWCASING neural networking

Exposing the beauty of dataflow technology though visual displays

The WAVE AI System is an extremely powerful computer pioneering a unique patented processing architecture called a Data Processing Unit (DPU) that is 4000x faster than a top of the line computer. Typical machine learning data processors are basic sheet metal boxes that get hidden in a data closet or backroom. We believed that this system deserved to become an object of beauty so, we set out to create a design experience that wouldn’t get stuffed in a data closet or backroom. The visual experience expresses and celebrates the magic and beauty of data. The WAVE AI System is the first computer that shows the fluid movement of the machine learning inside – a process called neural networking – shown in vivid animations on a 9” display…as though you can view the kinetic brain of this beautiful process unfold before your eyes.

INSPIRED BY FLUIDITY AND PRECISION

When form meets function they become beautiful together

The product design is inspired by the mathematical precision and art-meets-science philosophy of artificial intelligence. The physical form of the product recalls the simplicity and elegant minimalism of modern architecture. The 4 DPUs (Data Processors) aren’t hidden inside, rather they’re black boxes stacked vertically on the front for a striking, easily accessible format enabling serviceability and open access. The layout, architecture and surface treatments are all specifically designed to keep the machine running as fast and efficiently as possible, with cooling features and liquid flow that become visible elements of the system. Additionally, the details start to establish a unique design language based on a waveform – a tribute to the company’s name as well as a nod to the fluidity of the technology.

A comprehensive rebrand

Solid completely revamped the Wave brand

Wave Computing is revolutionizing AI and deep learning with its AI-native dataflow-based systems and embedded solutions. The company is dedicated to enabling data scientists to experiment, develop, test, deploy and run AI applications faster than ever before. Due to their recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence technology, the company is experiencing meteoric growth. We were asked to rebrand the company so that the brand would be better aligned with the business focus. We designed a new logo and brand identity language, crafted a new design for their core product, and developed a new website. The new Wave brand language celebrates data scientists as the heroes of a brave new world through heroic portraiture combined with stunning visualizations of complex data analytics patterns.

McAfee wins a Transform Award.

The work Solid delivered for McAfee is recognized as one of the best branding projects in North America.

The Transform Awards

RECOGNIZING THE BEST REBRANDS IN NORTH AMERICA

The Transform Awards North America is an important awards competition designed to recognize the best corporate an product brand development, as well as rebranding programs being done in North America. With categories that focus on strategy, content and design, The Transform Awards creates an opportunity for organizations, agencies and consultancies to benchmark their work and processes, and share best practices for reputational change.

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THE MCAFEE REBRAND IS A WINNER

The McAfee rebrand receives an award for brand identity

All of us at Solid Branding were very excited that our work for McAfee was selected as the winner of the Bronze Award for Best Brand Identity in 2017. The McAfee rebrand won in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector. “We worked very closely and collaboratively with the brand team at McAfee to deliver a comprehensive global rebranding program. It is an honor to be recognized as one of the best examples of rebranding work in North America. We are proud of this award and would like to thank the McAfee Brand Team as well as the McAfee Executive Team for their trust and support.” said Alfredo Muccino, the Founder and Executive Creative Director of Solid Branding.

Pictured above are (L-R) Becca Wright and Alfredo Muccino from Solid Branding, Wilkin Ho from McAfee and Matt Olivotti from Solid Branding.

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REBRANDING A CYBERSECURITY PIONEER

The McAfee brand is one of the iconic brands in technology

Redesigning the brand identity for McAfee was a daunting task. “Literally hundreds of millions of people across the globe consider McAfee a symbol of protection and security” said Lawrence Orleck, the Senior Brand Creative Director / Strategic Partner who inspired the global team working on the assignment. After Intel acquired McAfee, the company’s name changed to Intel Security and the logo still featured the old McAfee shield – which scored very high in unaided awareness. So, working alongside McAfee’s Brand Team, Solid decided it was best not to invent a new approach, but instead re-imagine the shield in a fresh and contemporary way. According to Mr. Orleck, “This new logo has been serving McAfee well as the company grows. As of now, McAfee protects well over 450 million people worldwide and almost 85 million corporate endpoints.”

View Video

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SOLID DELIVERS STRATEGY AND CREATIVE

We were responsible for McAfee’s entire rebranding program

As the lead agency for all of McAfee’s rebranding initiatives, Solid’s objective was to re-energize employees, customers and partners worldwide. To start, we crafted the company’s new positioning strategy, developed a brand manifesto, and produced a brand anthem video designed to reach internal as well as external audiences. Next, we delivered a comprehensive branding program that included a new brand identity system and visual style, as well as the design and development of the website, packaging systems, corporate interiors, marketing materials, and much, much more. We even produced the company’s first TV, radio and online advertising campaign!

See case study

Meet our newest strategic partner.

Kathy Johnson now leads our Public Relations practice. Read about her career and her many accomplishments.

Hello. I’m Kathy Johnson.

MEET ONE OF OUR AMAZING STRATEGIC PARTNERS

Kathy Johnson and Alfredo Muccino have known each other for a long time. They started working together in the 1990s when Kathy was consulting at Intel and managing corporate marketing initiatives associated with the Intel Inside campaign. Together they worked on the launch of the Pentium processor and developed a mutual respect for each other’s skills and work ethic. That early collaboration blossomed into a friendship and continued to grow over the years on projects for other clients. So, it’s no surprise that when Kathy was asked to join our Strategic Partner Network her answer was an enthusiastic “YES!”. We’re excited to introduce you to Kathy Johnson, our Director of PR Strategy / Strategic Partner.

A TECHNOLOGY PIONEER

Co-founding Blinkx (LSE: BLKX) transformed Kathy into a technology evangelist.

In 2004 Kathy co-founded the world’s first video search engine, Blinkx, and her evangelism of disruptive mobile and search technologies garnered global media attention via appearances in international TV (BBC, CNBC, CNN), newspapers and online media (The Sunday Times, The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, Die Welt, Reuters, Daily Mail, CNET, GigaOm, BBC), radio (BBC Radio 4, NPR, Bayerischer Rundfunk), and business and lifestyle magazines (Fast Company, Red Herring, Woman).

2004 AGENDA SETTER AWARD

Sharing the stage with Steve Jobs, Meg Whitman and Hu Jintao

Partly due to the success of Blinkx and her advocacy for disruptive technologies Kathy was voted “2004 Agenda Setter” by silicon.com alongside Apple’s Steve Jobs, eBay’s Meg Whitman, and Chinese Premier Hu Jintao. This was an exciting high point for Kathy’s career. “I couldn’t believe it! My name appeared next to the names of some of the world’s most influential people in business and technology. I was honored and shocked at the same time ” said Kathy with a smile when we asked her how it felt to receive such recognition.

CONSORT PARTNERS

All senior-level team of PR professionals, journalists, and entrepreneurs.

In 2004, Kathy co-founded a leading technology PR firm, Consort Partners, after being approached by some of the most successful venture capitalists and angel investors in Silicon Valley to replicate the PR success of Blinkx for their portfolio companies. Today, Consort Partners provides public relations and brand advisory services to companies that include King (the creators of Candy Crush Saga), Pinterest, SF Motors, 10x Genomics, Unity, MindMaze, Sprint, BBVA and Anaplan -and Kathy has become a member of the Solid Strategic Partner Network enabling us to bring her expertise to the table as one of our team members whenever our clients need world-class, brand-building PR strategies.

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS

Kathy has won plenty of recognition, including a prestigious Stevie award.

Kathy received the Stevie Award for Women in Business “Lifetime Achievement” recognition, she serves as a Board Member of TEDxMarin, and was an advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister Koizumi as she was closely involved with Japan’s first inbound tourism campaign, “Yokoso Japan,” as well as Japan’s FDI (foreign direct investment) strategies. She is also an avid marathon runner having placed third at the Modesto Marathon in 2015 and having raced several other marathons including Boston, New York, Big Sur and San Francisco.

To reach Kathy Johnson directly, simply send her an email at:

kathyjohnson@solidbranding.com

Take a look at our favorite new logos.

A logo that can stand the test of time is not easy to design. Here are a few of our favorites from recent years.

Meet some of our favorite new logos

DESTINED TO BECOME ICONS

Designing a logo often becomes an exercise about “saying no to a thousand things” as Steve Jobs famously liked to say. Designing a logo is about keeping only the most important and essential elements. And when a logo turns out just right, it can become a brand icon for many years to come. Below is a snapshot of logos that we’ve designed over the last few years that we believe will stand the test of time.

MCAFEE

A shield that has become a symbol of security for over 450 million people.

Redesigning the brand identity for McAfee was a daunting task. The old logo already featured a shield and scored very high in unaided awareness. So, working alongside McAfee’s management team, we decided it was best not to invent a new approach, but instead, re-imagine the shield in a fresh and contemporary way. This new logo has been serving McAfee well as the company grows. As of now, McAfee protects well over 450 million people worldwide and almost 85 million corporate endpoints.

See Case Study

NECTAR FINANCIAL

Reinventing the brand for a Swiss company reinventing wealth management.

Wealth management professionals tasked with making the best financial decisions for their clients need access to the best possible insights. They need to access the essential information that can make the difference between success and failure. Nectar leverages sophisticated Artificial Intelligence technology to pinpoint the most valuable insights from millions of financial data points and help wealth managers make better investment decisions. The logo represents a drop of wisdom, suggesting the value of the insights extracted by Nectar for its clients.

See Case Study

MISSION

A brand identity inspired by heroic missions and great achievements.

Reliam, a fast-growing provider of managed services for public cloud platforms, renamed itself Mission and needed a new brand identity. The new logo was inspired by the typography associated with space travel, and the ideas it conjures about embarking on heroic missions. The logotype includes what we call the “dynamic O”, a letter made of two shapes coming together. Mission believes that becoming a trusted partner to help their customers’ reach their objectives, and the logo has become a symbol of their courageous and collaborative spirit.

See Case Study

WAVE

Wave’s new logo evokes the latest advances in data visualization.

Wave Computing is a pioneer in Artificial Intelligence. Their advanced AI solutions enable data scientists to experiment, test, deploy and run AI applications like never before. The new logo for Wave leverages the visual idea of a “wave” in a simple and elegant geometric shape that feels contemporary and sophisticated. At the same time, it represents the dynamic nature of data visualization solutions that are only possible through advanced AI technology.

See Case Study

CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD

A new logo for one of the world’s largest real estate companies.

When Cushman & Wakefield merged with DTZ, becoming one of the largest real estate services firms on the planet. Management decided that the new company would operate under the iconic Cushman & Wakefield name, and we were hired to evolve the brand identity. We took into account the rich legacies of both organizations and created a new logo that took its cues from the previous brand identity, yet it has its own distinctive qualities. The icon immediately reminds you of modern office architecture, yet the buildings can also be interpreted as bar charts.

See Case Study

SPECK

Seen on millions of devices, this logo is a promise to protect them.

Speck creates award-winning cases designed to protect tech devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and watches. The logo consists of an asterisk between two parentheses. The asterisk represents the magical tech devices we use and care about. The parentheses represent how Speck’s products encase and protect those wonderful, yet delicate devices. Today, the Speck logo can be seen on millions of devices worldwide, letting people know that their valuable devices are lovingly protected.

MAURICE OUTDOORS

You can see water and mountains in the logo for a global leader in outdoor gear.

The company was established in 1923 by Maurice Olshansky, an immigrant who escaped from Russia after the revolution and started the business as a pushcart on Maxwell Street in Chicago. Today, Maurice Outdoors is the largest family-operated distributor of fishing tackle, shooting sports accessories, and other out-door athletic goods in the world. The logo was designed to evoke ideas of water, mountains and outdoor activities, while also serving as an iconic monogram for this venerable company.

VELODYNE

A logo that celebrates a legacy of innovation and acoustic performance.

Velodyne subwoofers and audio products represent the fusion of technical innovation with the art of beautiful industrial design. Started by David Hall, Velodyne holds more patents for subwoofer design than any other company. We were asked to evolve the logo, but the design had to be approved by Mr. Hall himself – a brilliant innovator who pays attention to every detail. We carefully optimized the typography retaining the integrity of the original design and made subtle changes until the new logo met David Hall’s demanding standards.

See Case Study

CAFFE FRASCATI

Bringing Italian style to a brand that makes a great cappuccino.

Italians are known for loving a great cup of coffee as much as they are known for great design. This identity combines the silhouette of a traditional cappuccino cup with the profile of a roaring lion – recalling the heraldic symbols of Italian noble families. The result is a modern icon inspired by ancient symbols. And this is the very nature of what is most charming about Italian culture – blendinga healthy respect for tradition with the vision to explore something new.

See Case Study

IMEMORIES

A brand reminding you that memories live in the heart.

iMemories helps people share their story and celebrate family by offering Analog to Digital Conversion Services and providing a single place for them to share and save their most meaningful photos and videos. When designing the logo, we realized that more than a technology story, iMemories was about a human story. The logo represents their mission to bring joy to people’s hearts by helping them relive generations of memories through memory conversion, archival and curation services.

See Case Study