Three years after co-founders CCO Jaime Robinson and CEO Lisa Clunie opened up shop, Joan Creative has rebranded.
“When we first launched, we didn’t take a ton of care in developing our identity in that we were still building what the company stood for and meant. Over the past three years that’s become a lot more clear,” Clunie told Adweek. “It was time to make sure everything related to that.”
The rebranding follows a series of recent changes for the independent New York agency, from personnel to real estate.
Joan moved into its new office at 44 Wall Street late last year, which Clunie called “a growing up” and “a sign of permanence.”
“The space itself was built out for us and we were able to put our mark on the aesthetic choices of the space,” she added.
Joan also added some new creative leadership with the arrival of executive creative director Dan Lucey from BBDO and further boosted its creative department with the arrival of four new hires in January.
While in the agency’s earlier days, they relied heavily on freelance talent, “We have now grown to have a foundational staff that really leads and champions our clients’ business,” Clunie said. “I’m incredibly proud of the team that we have assembled here.”
She added that the agency has sharpened its focus on the types of challenges that it excels at: modernizing legacy brands and “making modern brands legendary.”
The agency’s rebranding reflects these changes with a redesigned website and logo.
The new logo reimagines the lowercase, rounded typeface logo as an “impactful, edgier, upper case word mark” with the “J” designed to be reminiscent Joan of Arc’s sword, Clunie explained.
In addition to rebranding, Joan is expanding its nonprofit program, the Joan Foundation for Diversity, which includes the agency’s paid fellowship program. The program gives young people of color with no advertising experience the opportunity to work in each department at Joan, gaining experience and exposure to future career opportunities.
Clunie explained that Foundation for Diversity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was designed to take a portion of the agency’s revenue and use it to “build the next generation of diverse creative talent.”
The agency’s team recently presented plans to further expand the foundation through partnerships with Brooklyn public schools, which involves workshop training, the agency visiting schools to discuss how they entered the advertising industry and why it could be a fit for students.
Clunie said some goals for the foundation’s future involve “finding ways we can measure our impact” and “hold ourselves accountable”
The agency is also expanding DamnJoan.com, which will introduce a series of new products later this year.
“Building intellectual property that we develop and manage ourselves is a core part of what we want to do,” Clunie said, and has been since the agency’s launch.
Joan is also working to expand its agency capabilities, particularly on the strategy side. Clunie cited the agency’s brand strategy capabilities as a strength, noting that it is focused on building on its business, influencer and social strategy capabilities.
The agency is also building out its design practice, which Clunie says is “building brands from zero,” as well as its in-house production studio, Joan Studios.
Three years from now, Clunie says she hopes Joan has a “thriving” intellectual property business, “more than one office” (likely in Asia or Europe, as driven by client demand), and is “partnering with CEOs and CMOs to drive overall growth.”