Tips on creating graphic identities for related entities

Sometimes an organization gives birth to a unit that grows up and needs an identity of its own. That’s what happened when the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) spawned its Global Health Partnerships. CLSI develops consensus standards for medical laboratories and promotes their use throughout the world. Global Health Partnerships provides progams and services that help developing countries fight the spread of disease by improving the quality of their medical labs.

The parent organization has an international reputation and strong ties to renowned public health agencies working around the world. So it was important to tie the branding of the offspring to the parent’s established identity. But we knew the look and feel had to appeal to a different audience. CLSI is a membership organization that markets to industry, government, professional societies, trade associations, laboratories and educational institutions. Its brand embodies high standards and professional leadership. Global Health Partnerships markets to public health officials in Africa and Asia. Its brand needs to extend beyond standards and leadership to embrace a deep understanding of the challenges facing resource-constrained countries.

The process we used to create the first set of marketing materials for Global Health Partnerships can be followed for any similar “parent and child” challenge.

  1. We started with the parent’s signature typefaces and colors (CLSI’s logo blue and an accent maroon).
  2. We differentiated the child from the parent by adding two complementary accent colors (an orange and a green).
  3. We wrote a tagline to capsulize the child’s special mission.
  4. We used photos and graphic elements (in this case, color blocks) in a distinctive pattern that did not clash with parent but belonged only to the child (in this case, expressing the balance of realistic assessment and vibrant opportunity in the mission of Global Health Partnerships).

The result is a happy family relationship that advances the goals of both parent and child.