Practical Application of the New Visual Identity Guidelines


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Rotary’s got a new look, so let’s learn how use it! Get an overview of the new visual identity guidelines and see examples of how clubs are already using it to bring our story to life in their communities. You’ll also get a chance to share your own ideas and learn how to use the Brand Center on My Rotary to turn them into reality.

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  • Joining us today is Glenda Sherwin-Lane from the Rotary Club of Waverley, Victoria, Australia, district 9810.

    Glenda has been a Rotarian for 20 years and was the first female president of her club.

    She has a wealth of experience at the club and district levels. In addition to serving as the district public relations representative in 2012-13, she has:
    Served as the club bulletin editor for over three years
    Designed and managed her club’s website as well as the websites for two district conferences websites
    She has also designed a brochure for her club using Rotary’s new visual guidelines, which she will talk more about today.
  • Finally, we have Joe Brownlee from Rotary International. He is the Chief Strategy Officer overseeing all of the strategy and enterprise projects at the Secretariat. His area is charged with creating and implementing Rotary’s online tools, such as the Brand Center, which he will be showing you in a few minutes.
  • Here’s our agenda today. We’ll also give you a chance to ask questions and discuss what you’ve already done or how you can start using Rotary’s new look in your clubs and districts.
  • First of all, how many of you were in the What is Rotary session right before this? Some of you may have heard this already, but for those of have not, we’d like to give some background on our decision to rebrand.

    Some may ask, “Why did Rotary undertake this initiative?”

    At the outset, our Directors and Trustees posed three very important questions…
  • WHAT does Rotary stand for?

    HOW are we different? …different from other nonprofits, and even for-profit corporations, that support worthy causes?

    WHY does it matter to the world?

    Every organization in the world must answer these questions. And it became the number one objective for Rotary to learn the answers. Because…
  • …People do not know Rotary.

    Our own Public Image Surveys,* reached a wide cross-section of prospective members around the world, to give us great insight:

    Four in 10 have never heard of us.

    Another four in 10 have heard of our “name only.”

    Only two in 10 claim to have “some familiarity” with Rotary. Unfortunately what much of this group knows is colored by misperceptions and half-truths.

    *Research: Rotary Public Image Surveys completed 2006 and 2010. Responses received from six nations: Argentina, Australia, Germany, Japan, South Africa, United States. Surveyed approximately 1,000 individuals in each of six nations by phone and online. Survey has a +/- 4% margin of error.
  • The findings concluded that Rotary is not earning full credit for the good work it does in communities around the world.

    As a result…it is HARDER for Rotary to attract the new members and volunteers needed to ACHIEVE OUR FULL POTENTIAL.

    This is important because we want people to understand the great work we do…so they want to join us…and we can grow and increase our impact.
  • I’m going to break with the usual practice of building to a conclusion…I’m going to lead with it. If you take away one phrase from today, this is it:


    UNITES LEADERS…to EXCHANGE IDEAS…and TAKE ACTION…to improve our local communities…everywhere.

    This is Rotary’s core. It’s what makes Rotary a strong force in towns all over the world.

    Let’s me show you why…so your club will want to adopt these findings…and communicate all of Rotary’s advantages with greater strength and consistency.
  • Strengthen Rotary brings CLARITY and FOCUS. And the means to help every Rotarian prepare an elevator speech that answers the question, “What is Rotary?” It also provides a powerful strategic tool for decision-making.

    Rotary JOINS LEADERS from all continents, cultures and occupations…
    to EXCHANGE IDEAS…and TAKE ACTION for communities around the world.

    Let’s break this down into its components because these three ideas are the very essence of Rotary.

    Rotary joins leaders…sure we do humanitarian service…but Rotary’s role in the world is to be a catalyst for collaborating and improving our communities.

    We exchange ideas…bringing our expertise and our diverse perspectives to bear on community problems.

    Then…because ideas are only the first part of the solution and Rotarians are interested in solving problems…Rotarians take action to make communities everywhere just a little bit better. In fact, taking action is what the Foundation is all about…because it is through your efforts that Rotarians around the world are able to make their communities better places to live, work and play.
  • The real value in the Strengthen Rotary initiative is strategic. Strengthen Rotary delivers five important outcomes:

    Clarify and communicate our core reason for being to capture our most relevant points of difference.

    Bring our values to life to ensure our words support our actions and vice versa

    Redefine or re-energize our voice to reflect our unique and distinct character.

    Organize how we present our offerings so people understand what we do and how to engage.

    And last, to refresh our visual identity to energize our look and feel while celebrating our heritage. This last item represents only 15% of the total effort.

    This is the reason we want to refocus the conversation…from the controversy about the logo—the 15%…to the major benefits of Strengthen Rotary—the 85%!

    Let’s see why this is so.

  • Let’s talk about our visual identity.

    For people both inside…and especially for those not yet connected to Rotary…our visual identity is important. It’s part of how we express ourselves.

    In the not-so-distant past, with the exception of a logo, we had little to guide us in how to communicate visually. As a result, we were all over the map. Every club…every district…did something different.

    This is a problem. We looked like a dozen different organizations. We confused people…watered down our messages.

    Strengthening Rotary has strengthened our approach. And many clubs and districts have already adopted our new visual identity.

    Some others may not have understood why we made the changes. So let’s start at the top…with our refreshed visual identity.

    Here to talk about using our visual identity is Joe Brownlee. Joe is also going to give a tour of the Brand Center. Could you tell us about visual identities and how they evolve, including Rotary’s?
  • The fact is…BRANDS EVOLVE.

    We hardly recognize Apple, IBM and Mercedes-Benz’ early logos. Like every successful brand, they evolved…adapting to new technologies, cultural shifts and the prevailing graphic styles.

    Evolution helps them keep pace with their customers’ image of the brand…and helps them continue their success.

  • Over the years, Rotary evolved as well.

    Our refreshed logo is simple and contemporary. It builds on our heritage, and now includes the word “Rotary,” alongside our emblem, the Rotary wheel. Now people OUTSIDE of Rotary can read our name…and begin to associate our good works with Rotary. This is critical to our future growth.

  • Our refreshed Rotary logo is also more FLEXIBLE…providing a CONSISTENT look everywhere it’s used…in full color…one color…black…or white. On white and light backgrounds…on dark backgrounds…and on photographs. It works.

    Thanks to Strengthening Rotary, we not only have a refreshed logo…we have a full visual identity toolkit.

    A style for our photography…
    And a style for icons to help us communicate important metrics across all languages more quickly.
  • Our guidelines…including a quick, single-page “Identity at a Glance” version…provide simple instructions your club can use to reflect Rotary’s brand cleanly and consistently in all your communications…from printed flyers to your website.

    These guidelines are in the Voice and Visual Identity Guidelines booklet at your tables, which are yours to take back to your clubs and use.
  • ….You can also download them Rotary Brand Center at: In fact, let’s go there now so I can show you how you can create something using our new look.
  • Now we’re going to see something that was created using new guidelines.
  • Good afternoon everyone
    Basically, I’m a very good typist, have a bit of an eye for design, am something of a wordsmith and have put those skills to good use for Rotary. I reflect with interest on my progression over the years of creating DG newsletters and district and club bulletins. It provided unexpected opportunities for my professional development that led me to a fantastic job, some amazing experiences and meeting great people in the national and international Rotary community.
    Having been the public image representative for my district in the previous Rotary year, I discovered I was still on the circulation list when the new branding guidelines were launched. We had recently gone through the same process at work, so I appreciated the monumental amount of work involved and the process required to encourage clubs to accept the challenge of change.
    It wasn’t all smooth sailing in the early months, but bit by bit various tools have become available. I’m still trying to find out where I can obtain the icons for the six areas of Rotary focus, either separately or as a group.
    I’ll say straight off that I do like the refreshed logo – it’s up to date and crisp – and the colour palette is modern and lends interest.
    I was asked to show you what was created then explain the process, but having a little sense of drama, I’d rather wait for “the big reveal”.
    So let’s talk about the process.
  • I had recently received Board approval to retain the services of a member of our District who would supply the back-end template and provide the technical support so that we could finally develop our website through WordPress and launch it.
    The branding guidelines were released just at the right time to incorporate the refreshed logo and colour palette into the new website
    The club’s brochure was conveniently coming to the end of its print run and needed updating.
    It seemed a good idea to develop both media at the same time, each complementing the other.
    I arranged for a time slot to present the new branding to the club members at a meeting.
    The club’s community committee brainstormed some ideas and chose a theme.
    Familiarising ourselves with “Tell Rotary’s Story” guidelines was the important first step and provided lots of ideas.
  • I divided each page of a landscape-orientated Publisher document into three equal sections as my base, with no margins and started building, starting with The ROTARY effect and our chosen theme.
    I added our contact details, including our postal address, which I later realised was not relevant
    I printed off Page 18 with the colour palette and formula codes - having them readily to hand helped to save a lot of time.
    I selected Arial Narrow for headings and Georgia for body text and starting gathering the elements.
  • Photo 1 was taken during a Foundation audit of a water project to which the club had contributed. Who could fail to be drawn into those eyes.
    I imagine photo 2 doesn’t need an explanation to this audience
    Photo 3 represents a project which my club supports and which is close to my heart – Interplast Australia & New Zealand delivering free plastic reconstructive surgery in the Asia Pacific region. Until my very recent retirement, I was Rotarian Coordinator. That fantastic job to which I referred earlier.
  • It was wet and it was freezing cold but there was a huge degree of satisfaction in helping 40 other people plant nearly 3,000 trees in one day which we’d watered and cared for since sowing the seeds
    We’ve been sponsoring a young girl since her first day at the School of St Jude’s. She is now in secondary school. This photo was taken from their website so we didn’t need to seek permission to use it but this young lady is not our student.
    Any images downloaded from the RI website can be used without having to seek special permission. Permission must be and was sought from Club members who were featured.
    This is also a good time to remind you that when you are involved in a project, you make sure that good quality, high resolution action shots are taken – showing your members working with another community building a well or a school, helping a child to read or even planting a future forest for a ‘highway’ for birdlife. Always keep in mind you might want to incorporate it into print media one day.
  • Next step was to go to the Rotary International website, to My Rotary / Manage / Brand Centre and choose logos.
    If you haven’t already registered your account in My Rotary, please do so. There’s a huge amount of information and support available.
    Downloading the correct format is a bit disconcerting because of how the logos appear on screen but they look fine when the file is converted to pdf format.
    It’s important to download the eps version of each logo for good quality printing. Don’t try to open it unless you have the appropriate software. After the download is complete, when you’re asked what you want to do, select Save, save it in your appropriate folder, name it clearly, insert it when and where required and it will fall into place.
  • While navigating the Brand Centre, I discovered the brochure template under Materials. This was extremely useful with telling the Rotary story and in  providing a cohesive look. It saved a lot of thinking time, and it also helped to remind me of essential information to be included – such as when and where the club meets.  You can edit some of the areas on line, for example under “Our Club” you can feature your club’s general focus regarding programs and projects.
    At the time I was developing the club brochure, I couldn’t make it relevant to our club with our own images or remove certain elements (such as coming events which could outdate the brochure very quickly).  Also, in Australia we use British English, spelling and expressions so I’m delighted to learn that editing the template to accommodate these elements will be possible in the near future.
    Publisher is an excellent program but does have its limitations (border).  Word documents can be adapted but it’s easier to move things around in Publisher. 
    In Australia, obtaining Creative Suite (Illustrator), Corel Draw and similar programs are quite an expensive exercise.  It might need a financial commitment from the club but now that you can only access it from the Cloud on a monthly subscription you have to wonder how it could be managed.  In any event, it takes time to be familiar with the program. 
    The easiest alternative would be to make good use of the brochure template.  The beauty of this is that once saved, it is commercial printer ready and is very professional.
  • So, back to my Publisher document and incorporating elements of the brochure template:
    We are Rotary – word for word
    Our Club – wording edited to reflect the focus of our particular club
    Testimony: editorial privilege here
    The text box on the right gives a very useful description of why all clubs have a speaker seeker
    And, finally, one of my favourite descriptions of Rotary
    So, after a lot of downloading, image manipulation, editing, copying bits from the RI brochure template, revision, proof reading, further adjustments, approval by the Board and more tweaking, it all came together.
    And, we’re fortunate that one of our club members is a printer and was able to do clever things so we didn’t get a white edge around the final document.
  • I see this as being the first in a series of club brochures with others reflecting different themes.
    How has it helped our club? It’s too early to say at this stage. Having them available at our community events helps us to feel that we are at least getting the message out. It is giving us visibility that lasts longer than the few moments is takes to purchase a sausage in a slice of bread or buy a raffle ticket.
    It may prompt someone months or years down the track and we may never know that it was our brochure that started them thinking.
    I think it’s important because it tells the Rotary story rather than being totally club focussed. After all, we want to encourage people to join Rotary and to do so by joining a club - and, maybe, that will be your club.
  • Starting today there are five actions your club can take…to join clubs all over the world…who are telling a compelling Rotary story…
  • Review the guidelines that are on your tables. They’ll help you tell your story with power and consistency.

    Review the club promotional materials and use our templates as a starting point for your club brochures and fliers.

    Look at the sample images and see how they might inspire you to create your own photos…images that reflect your club…your culture.

    Download a “DOING GOOD” video for your website. Topics include Rotary’s six areas of focus: providing clean water…growing local economies…supporting education…fighting disease…saving mothers and children…and promoting peace. …Plus “This Close to ending polio.”
  • Second.

    Tell compelling stories...about real people…people who connected with other community leaders to make the world a little bit better.

    Create an emotional connection with your audience. Tug at their heartstrings…both in your stories…and in your pictures.

    Focus on the “why” of the story…the benefits. Tell your readers, “WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM!”

    And define the impact of your work. Remember, it’s not about dollars…it’s about lives changed. One child who can see. A town of 200 with clean, fresh water. A classroom of girls who can read and look forward to a more productive life.
  • Number 3.

    Update your online profile.

    I’m not just talking about using our refreshed logo. I’m talking about connecting with both your internal and external audiences to tell YOUR compelling story.

    This is a bigger ask…a more dramatic change. And the effort will have a far bigger reward…because what we’re talking about is telling the Rotary story…better…answering the question…”What’s in it for a prospective member or donor, or advocate of Rotary?”

  • Fourth.

    Success doesn’t happen by accident. It takes planning.

    Get ahead of the curve. Map out your events for the year.

    Put the right communications team in place. Active, high-energy, take-charge people. Youthful thinkers, regardless of their chronological age.

    And give them a real budget to work with.
  • FINALLY. The fifth action you can take is…START AND THEN DON’T STOP. Keep up your efforts. Momentum matters.
  • To recap, here are the five actions your club can take.
  • What do we aim to achieve? Our long-term success will be measured by the increased understanding of Rotary in our membership base and the general public.

    We have baseline research data from research undertaken for the Strengthen Rotary initiative. Rotary may also choose to gauge progress through future surveys and focus groups.

    BUT WE ALL MUST SPEAK AND LIVE ROTARY’S VOICE. We all need to be “on message”…to use the same language, voice, and kinds of stories when we talk about the Rotary experience.

    The increased awareness and understanding of Rotary will have significant results to help us:

    Increase membership and retention.
    Increase impact in the communities served by Rotary.
    Increase donor support to clubs, districts, and The Rotary Foundation.
    Increase partnerships at the local and global levels to provide more funding, more relationships, and more expertise to the Rotary cause.

  • We realize clubs are autonomous and will continue to do what fits their needs.

    We just ask that we all be champions of Rotary. The clarification of message and strong visual identity will help us define, within our own needs, what Rotary means to communities on a global scale.

    We hope you enjoyed the session. We’ve included some resources including this presentation for you in the convention app: Guidebook. They are listed under this breakout session information.
  • Practical Application of the New Visual Identity Guidelines

    2. 2. TAKE ACTION Moderator Howard Tong Rotary Public Image Coordinator Rotary Club of Port Nicholson, New Zealand
    3. 3. TAKE ACTION Panelist Glenda Sherwin-Lane Rotary Club of Waverley, Victoria, Australia District 9810
    4. 4. TAKE ACTION Panelist Joe Brownlee Chief Strategy Officer Strategy and Enterprise Projects
    5. 5. • Why rebrand? • Brand center tour • The final product • How you can use the brand AGENDA
    7. 7. STRENGTHENING ROTARY What? How? Why?
    8. 8. SURVEYS SHOW Never Heard of Rotary Know Name Only Some Familiarity
    9. 9. SURVEYS SHOW Not earning full credit for our good work HARDER TO REACH OUR FULL POTENTIAL
    10. 10. Rotary unites leaders to exchange ideas and take action to improve communities everywhere Follow with your Rotary moment… WHAT IS ROTARY? WHY SHOULD I JOIN?
    12. 12. • Clarify and communicate our core reason for being • Bring our values to life • Redefine or re-energize our voice • Organize how present our offerings • Energize our look and feel while celebrating our heritage VALUE: STRENGTHENING ROTARY’S BRAND
    14. 14. BRANDS EVOLVE
    19. 19. CREATING A CLUB BROCHURE Glenda Sherwin-Lane Rotary Club of Waverley, Victoria, Australia TAKE ACTION
    21. 21. SETTING UP The Rotary Club of Waverley Inc District 9810, Victoria, Australia PO Box xxx Mt Waverley Vic 3150 email: THE ROTARY EFFECT Join leaders from all continents and cultures to take action in our communities and around the world.
    25. 25. FINDING TOOLS
    26. 26. USING ELEMENTS OF THE BROCHURE TEMPLATE WE ARE ROTARY Rotary brings together people like you—from all walks of life—who want to use their expertise for good. People whose sense of responsibility inspires them to give back to their communities. At Rotary we connect for good—and form lifelong friendships in the process. Together we empower youth, improve health, promote peace and advance our communities in all corners of the globe. With 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs worldwide, our global community’s impact has never been greater—and it continues to grow. MAKE A DIFFERENCE Belonging to a Rotary club provides members with an opportunity to give back to their communities and to connect with like-minded leaders and friends. People join Rotary for many reasons including community involvement, personal development, professional networking and camaraderie. But perhaps the most important benefit is the satisfaction you gain from making a real difference in your community and in the world. Our club gives you an opportunity to join leaders to take action on important issues affecting our community, our nation and the world. We also have a lot of fun — whether we’re socialising or working together on service projects. Members of our Rotary club connect at weekly meetings and learn from business experts, political and civic leaders, and entrepreneurs, who help us stay informed on topics that are relevant to our community. Together, we make great things happen. We have a structure that focuses on action and positive results. OUR CLUB Our club is committed to making a difference locally, nationally and internationally. Our favourite projects and programs mainly focus on the areas of health research, delivering free reconstructive surgery, and providing education and development opportunities for the young. Our tree planting project is helping to provide a future ‘highway’ for birdlife. We partner with local and global organisations to maximize our impact and expand our reach. GET INVOLVED Learn how you can make a difference. For more information about our projects and our upcoming events visit “My experience with my club is truly valuable. I have made lifelong friends and gained professional development that has led to previously unimagined opportunities. Thanks to Rotary I have a much greater understanding of world communities and a deep and abiding respect for what this wonderful organisation has achieved.” Glenda Sherwin-Lane Rotary: Humanity in Motion
    28. 28. 1. ADOPT OUR VOICE AND VISUAL IDENTITY • Review our guidelines • Create your own club logo • Use templates as a starting point • Use images to inspire your own photos
    29. 29. 2. TELL COMPELLING STORIES WITH CONSISTENT MESSAGES • Real people, real stories • Tug the heartstrings • Focus on the WHY, not the HOW • Define your impact
    31. 31. 4. PLAN AND BUDGET FOR MARKETING • Plan for success NOW • Map out your events • Put the right team in place • Give them a clear budget
    33. 33. 5 ACTIONS YOUR CLUB CAN TAKE 1. Adopt our new voice and visual identity 2. Tell compelling stories with consistent messages 3. Update your website and Facebook page 4. Plan and budget for marketing 5. Keep the momentum going
    34. 34. THE END RESULT million members delivering a consistent message 1.2 + = Better understanding of our value and impact stronger story and brand identity More members, donors, partners =