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Current Energy - New Identity

July 11, 2008

The Client:
Current Energy provides energy-efficiency solutions to both residential and commercial customers designed to maximize energy cost savings while minimizing capital investment. Current Energy has a consumer-facing retail presence with its Current Energy Store located in the upscale Knox-Henderson shopping district of Dallas, Texas.

When Current Energy first approached Farstar in 2007, we were asked to create various pieces of more traditional advertising for them. Which was a great opportunity for us to stretch a little bit. But while we wrote the headlines and copy, the design had to stay consistent with Current Energy's existing look and feel. A look and feel created by a local behemoth of an agency whose name rhymes with The Itcher Troop.

One day recently, we got a wild hair and decided it was time to show Current Energy what they were missing. It was our contention that, while they didn't ask for it, it was in everyone's best interest do some creative exploration.

Strategies & Tactics:
We laid down a few ground rules for this hopefully not-just-exploratory exercise:

  • We wouldn't change their logotype or other trademark elements
  • All colors were fair game
  • All typefaces were open to exploration
  • Create the ability for us to use photography in their pieces
  • We would do all of this in secret, without asking the client for their input or permission

On that last point, don't worry. We knew if they didn't like it, we'd be eating our costs there. But we felt it was worth the risk.

Current Energy decided to go with one of our suggestions. What follows are several before-and-after examples. Hopefully you'll agree that we helped give Current Energy a more memorable graphic identity and smarter (both clever and intelligent) messaging tone.

Color Palette Creation

First up, we had to define a color palette with primary colors and accent colors. We wanted to bring in some earth tones: green grass, gray clouds, brown dirt, orange/yellow sun, and the blue sky. Here's the result:

Retail Store Signage Before and After

These are hanging window posters for Current Energy's retail store, created prior to the new identity scheme. The lack of an extended color palette is strikingly obvious next to the window signs beneath these.

And here are the window signs created after the new identity system had been adopted.

Website Before and After: Home Page

Here is a screenshot of the home page of their corporate site prior to our relationship with Current Energy (unlike the other sections of this entry, Farstar did not create this "before" design):

And below is the evolution of Current Energy's site. Beyond the aesthetic changes, we gave the content a complete overhaul, including the addition of several new educational and reference sections.

Website Before and After: Store Category Page

Here's a screen shot of one of the store pages prior to our arrival:

And our version of this type of page:

Outdoor Billboards Before and After

We wrote it and designed it, but we only had green, white and gray to use. Not bad, by any stretch. But we felt we could do more.

So, we did more:

Print Ads Before and After

Again, we wrote the copy but without the ability to use photography and varied colors, we felt pretty limited on aesthetics.

And here is the first print ad we created under the new graphics standards:

This is a great example of taking an already-strong brand and evolving it in a way that retains its fundamental core while making it even more resonant and relevant to its consumers (if we do say so ourselves). We're appreciative to have a client in Current Energy who allows us the freedom to take risks, and who rewards those risks with accolades and more work.

If you are cut from a similar cloth and would like us to help reinvigorate your brand, let us know. But if you're looking for "yes men," well, just say no to calling us.