USA TODAY was built on the founder’s vision to be a “forum for better understanding”. As pioneers in using visual story telling and concise copy, they were dedicated to telling the news in a way that made it relevant to the lives of everyday Americans.

30 years on this pioneering vision had become lost in a sea of imitators, parody-makers, and digital competitors. The brand looked dated and was struggling to navigate the changing media landscape. Hundreds of branded initiatives resulted in a disparate experience.

They asked us to help them reposition USA TODAY as a future-fit news organisation.

“USA TODAY was designed to be different”

Al Neuharth, Founder, USA Today
An identity as dynamic as the news
The offer from USA TODAY wasn’t easy for consumers to understand. We proposed a simple brand architecture that organised the majority of its offers behind six main sections.
As we started to redesign the logo, we explored options from ‘evolution’ to ‘revolution’. The client team was unanimous in choosing a direction from the ‘revolution’ end of the spectrum. They believed it was the best representation of the audaciousness that USA TODAY was built on.
The printed paper was still the most prominent product, so we partnered with the design teams to help them agree on one visual style for all properties. We shadowed the entire process, from the early morning meeting through to press at 10pm, and contributed content ideas.

To launch the new brand, we created a national campaign covering digital, TV, print, and out-of-home advertisements. The concept centred on visual storytelling and kicked off in NYC with a Grand Central subway station take-over.

An American icon making numbers
The launch became one of the largest media business stories of 2012, resulting in total media impressions exceeding 325 million.

In the month after launch, the number of unique visitors to USA TODAY’s mobile sites increased by 79%, and the brand’s digital revenue increased by over 69%.

“In the month after launch, there was a 100% increase in Facebook fans and a 69% increase in digital revenue”

Gannett Market Research

Further market research showed they had 6,000+ new Twitter followers, their Facebook fans were up over 100%, and almost two-thirds of readers thought the redesign of the newspaper made the news easier to read. Gannett — the media company that owns USA TODAY — reported a first-quarter profit increase of 53%.