To start, why a refresh versus a rebrand?

We wanted to keep some of the legacy elements that the Shinebox brand started with, rather than throw everything out and begin again. For example, we had no intention of changing our logo. There is a lot of history and equity there. Same goes for the baby blue color. So those are elements we knew we wanted to retain.

Ultimately, the goal was to evolve, not start over.

How many options did you share with Leadership? Was the process different from working with a client?

It was really important to us that we treat ourselves as we would treat our clients. That includes walking through the steps of the brand story and brand platform process, and it also includes coming to Leadership with one single idea.

It’s a testament to how much we believe in our Brand Builder method that we don’t shy away from using it on ourselves.

What is the goal of ‘Unleash Your Shine?’

It’s really a call-to-action for who we are calling challenger brands. Brands that know they have something special inside them, but are looking for a partner to help bring them to the forefront.

Creatively, it was really important for us to strike a balance between showcasing our disruptive ideas and our strategic acumen. Also, we wanted to make something that everyone in the agency would enjoy working on. We were missing a specific voice and personality, so a big part of this refresh was really looking at ourselves and asking who we were as a company, and who we wanted to be. Identifying a brand archetype was part of this process. We landed on the Alchemist, because it combines that perfect balance of science and magic, and you can see that theme woven throughout our visuals.

What are your favorite elements of the refresh?

One of the things I love most is how we were able to give *shine* a new meaning that made sense to our agency. Originally, Shinebox was based on a reference to shoe-shining. That went away in a previous refresh, which left our name without much context. This refresh takes the *shine* and pairs it with our vision of disruption to make them one and the same.

We’ve also found ways to incorporate the new shiny elements into our internal company language. We’ve used the phrase “Shine on,” as a way to highlight people who are adding positivity or putting in the extra effort on projects.

It has also been really gratifying to see the other creatives take the elements of the brand and create amazing new art with them.


What was the biggest challenge?

When we started off this process, we had a wonderful brainstorming session where everyone in the agency was invited to contribute their ideas and thoughts about where the brand should go. Of course, with something like that, there are a lot of conflicting ideas across the board. My goal was to take the major themes from the brainstorm and figure out a way to structure the brand so that everyone could find an element of their thoughts and contributions inside.

There were calls to have more colors, more fun, and more loudness. On the other end of the spectrum there were people that wanted something smart, strategic, structured, and not distracting. One of the solutions was to choose an art direction that was classically black and white and structured, but use color and illustrations as bright disruptive elements.


Was leading the refresh easier or more difficult than you planned?

It was waaay easier! All thanks to a supportive leadership group that really trusted the team that took it on. Anytime you make creative updates to an agency brand, there are many creative people who weigh in with their opinions. It can be really hard to come to an agreement on… anything, really. I was impressed with Leadership for taking our recommendations and empowering us to run with our ideas.


Creative Director Kelsey Steffes is a guiding force on the Shinebox team for ideas, creativity, and disruption.