Branding in Action: Harvest Half

This past October weekend is one for the books, and I wanted to hop on the blog today to share it with you all! I participated in the Harvest Half Marathon (and 10K) in Sioux Center, IA, where just over six months prior I was developing the logo and branding for this event. It was such a rewarding experience–running my first ever 10K + seeing a brand I created in action.

Everything from event banners, t-shirts, stickers, and the medals given to participants were branded “Harvest Half”. Prior to the race, I had been keeping up with the event by checking out their Facebook page and website, where images and race details are posted.

I do want to mention before diving in that I did not work on or with the application side of things (banners, t-shirts, stickers, website, medals, marketing, etc…). I created the logo and developed the brand before handing it off to the Harvest Half committee for their marketing purposes and use.

But after running in the race and seeing the brand in action, I wanted to break down the elements that I felt made this event successful from a marketing standpoint and how the application of the logo has helped set this event apart and become instantly recognizable to the public.

Side-note: The race committee and volunteers were so helpful and friendly, which I believe to be a huge factor in the event’s success and turnout (even on a chilly/misty morning!) They also did a thorough job of marketing the event (whether that be via their website and social channels or in print ads and flyers around town). I want to reflect on the design/marketing/application aspect today, as well as touch on how I went about creating the logo to fulfill a wide range of marketing purposes.

Success is in the details

From the beginning my desire was to create a logo that had the potential to be used for a variety of marketing areas. After initially meeting with the HH team, I had a fairly large list of potential applications: T-shirts, flyers, banners, website, social media, medals, and so on, and I designed logo variations that would work for such applications. Rather than trying to make one logo fit all of these different marketing pieces, I provided an array of orientations and layouts to work with. This also allows for some fun versatility within the brand to avoid feeling stuck, while still portraying a consistent look. You can see the breakdown of the brand here.

The Harvest Half team branded every detail of the race. From the content and design of their website, to the branding on their Facebook page, to the signage and banners displayed at the race, and the medals each participant received–there is no doubt that the runners noticed the intention that was put into the details to make this event memorable.

Consistency = Recognition

I am a big proponent for consistency in branding and marketing. The key to gaining a customer base, or following, and being able to stand out as your unique entity is having and portraying consistency within your marketing. One way to do this is through color and imagery. When you have a grasp on using your brand color (The palette created to represent your brand) and imagery (Think photography, patterns, custom illustrations, and your logos) well, viewers will catch on to these elements and begin to recognize your business (or in the case of Harvest Half–event).

Add interactive elements to make it fun for your audience

Lastly, find ways to make interacting with your brand/business/event fun for your audience! I had so much fun running my first 10K and setting my personal best time. Not only that, but the HH committee provided each participant with a medal and a sticker (see image below). These are super simple ways to delight your audience while simultaneously getting your brand out in the world. Just think of how many eyes will see that sticker on a water bottle or laptop!

Thanks for sticking around to share in my excitement on seeing a brand I designed in action! In two weeks, we’re jumping back into the series: A Non-Designer’s Design Guide, talking about font choice and how it affects the feeling of your brand.

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