Website redesign, new logo possibilities

By Mary Leszczynski

Good things are happening in the INFORMS Public Affairs & Marketing Department! And more great things are on the way.

I am extremely lucky (most of the time) to have a relatively new boss (Jeff Cohen) who questions everything and constantly raises the bar on what we do and how we do it. Sometimes he makes me crazy (PLEASE don’t tell him I said that!), but as a designer and a brand champion, his approach is invaluable.

At times, we are constrained by time and workload, and while the first solution is serviceable, it’s not something I would be proud to put in my portfolio. We have revamped our department, hiring some incredibly talented and creative individuals, and are producing incredible work that I am really proud of – and I hope you are, too.

As we look ahead at 2016, perhaps the biggest project we are going to undertake is the redesign of our website, www.informs.org. We’ll keep you updated on this ambitious project, and we look forward to creating a new website that better meets the needs of our members, and better promotes the exciting work you do in operations research, the management sciences and analytics.

While we were crafting the RFP soliciting bids for this project, Jeff asked, “What about the logo? If we are going to spend all of this time, money and energy creating this great new site for our members, shouldn’t we be reimagining all of the elements?”

Long pause. “Maybe?” I responded. A billion thoughts were crashing through my head. Why? Will the members like it? How do I draw OR/MS? How do you represent the diversity of disciplines? Are we just changing the logo to change it? Are we designing for the professional society? Or designing for the subject matter? How many colors? Will the members like it? (Yes, I know I repeated that, but at the end of the day, that’s who our stakeholders are, and I want them to connect with the logo.)

So the process began with a creative brainstorming session. Who was the audience? What is our story? What do we want the world to know about INFORMS and OR/MS? The team left the session, each person returning with a set of sketches. We critiqued, we refined, we researched, we explained, and we critiqued some more.

In January, we presented options to the board of directors to get their sense as to whether we should venture down this path. In the end, we wanted to share this initiative with our members, and get their feedback.

So that’s what we’re doing. The question is, should INFORMS update our logo? And what do you think about the two logos (shown here) we presented to the board in January? And, if you want to know about the use of color or design elements, just ask. I’m happy to share that with you, too!

Importantly, no one is saying we have to redesign the logo. But as we undertake the new website and a number of other creative projects, we want to make sure we are considering all of the elements. And that we are portraying INFORMS, and more importantly our members and your work, in the best, most exciting way possible.

We look forward to your feedback. It’s important.

Thanks in advance for your time and support. Please send your thoughts to socialnetworking@mail.informs.org.

Mary Leszczynski is INFORMS’ design & brand manager.