Reimagining campus retail and the college store: Collegiate Retail Consulting Group
Establishing an industry veteran’s new business venture
Building an innovative brand from the ground up to make a mark on an industry defined by heritage.
After four decades of experience in the college retail industry, Russell Markman approached REIT to launch his entrepreneurial pursuit: Collegiate Retail Consulting Group. To establish a brand presence that integrated Russell’s executive qualifications and appealed to vendors servicing digital natives, he tapped former, long-time colleague Liz Reitman and her team at REIT to create a relevant visual strategy that would stand out from the crowd and position Collegiate Retail as a frontrunner in the field.
We sought to unite Russell’s background as an insightful, strategic leader with a fresh and modern look to differentiate Collegiate Retail from the dated designs and clunky user experience to bring the college retail store experience into the 2020s. We started with a competitive analysis to get a sense of the industry landscape, then leveraged our learnings to develop an energetic, informative, and visually pleasing brand identity to attract new and reputable clients.
We delivered a forward-facing visual identity and brand system across digital, environmental and print assets to cement Collegiate Retail’s brand presence in the industry. We selected a color palette consisting of greens and blues, contemporary typography, and angled accents to encapsulate Collegiate Retail’s novel approach, which we combined with audience-centric messaging to produce a purposeful and pragmatic user experience across the board.
Reit’s design strategy reinforced Collegiate Retail’s goal to distinguish its consultancy from competitors and make a bold impact on the industry – with requests for work already in the queue. Toeing the line between pushing the envelope and integrating seamlessly into the collegiate retail space was a guiding focal point that contextualized our design process. Our work with Collegiate Retails continues as we build out their trade show collateral and event presence.
Instituting authority and encouraging inspiration
The logo features a modern type solution that is clean yet approachable; the capital letters make a bold statement and nod to Collegiate Retail as an authority figure, while the modified, open “A” letterforms symbolize the cutting-edge solutions Collegiate Retail delivers.
Creating visual interest with interactivity and iconography
By incorporating page animations and custom icon animations throughout the website, we brought the two-dimensional to life. Adding teal diagonal lines prominently across each page helped guide the user, divide the content, and enhance the site’s visual interplay.
Exploring alternative brand identities
Our competitive research gave us several visual opportunities to explore Collegiate Retail’s brand identity; we played with themes that make the college experience unique – from connection and nostalgia to progressive thinking – with the latter choice winning out in the end.