The brand

CliffsNotes is one of the most iconic educational study aid providers in the USA. It is the original and most loved, used by generations of school-goers as their go-to for quick reference materials.

The original identity

From the outset in 1958, CliffsNotes adopted a bold and instantly recognisable identity. Black and yellow diagonal stripes paired with a simple logotype formed an original look that has been referenced and copied by many since.

The problem

Over the years, multiple formats of the study aids, from printed books to video, animation and an extensive web presence, resulted in an array of legacy logos and assets. Competing typefaces, colour tones and motifs diluted the brand identity from its original strength and simplicity.

The brief

Conduct a comprehensive review of the existing identity suite and suggest ways to refresh the brand while keeping its iconic look and feel.

The pitch

Turn the logo and broader identity back towards the original vision through a refreshed, simple logo and bold use of colour. This would work to strengthen brand loyalty across generations and help to renew the brand for the current generation.

The result

An extensive suite of identity assets was created for the wide variety of applications needed, from video to book covers, web and more. Web strategists Dom and Tom took the new brand identity guidelines and web mockups we provided as a starting point to their thorough overhaul of the CliffsNotes website.

Dom and Tom's Case Study