Cleaner, bolder & more web-friendly: Inside the National Rural Health Association's rebrand

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The National Rural Health Association, a nonprofit with more than 21,000 members, recently got a new logo and domain name. 

Below, the NRHA explains why it pursued this rebrand and how it went about implementing the changes. 

Editor's note: Responses were provided by Alex Olson and Donna Douglas, two NRHA employees who worked on the rebranding effort. Responses have been edited for clarity and style.

Question: Why did NRHA decide to rebrand?

NRHA: As the NRHA expanded programs and services, an updated branding portfolio was needed. The new logo design translates well throughout all communication mediums, from print media to digital platforms. The explosion of the online environment in the last decade prompted the NRHA to consider a more descriptive and simplified domain name.

Q: When did the rebranding effort start?

NRHA: The ruralhealth.us domain was purchased in 2015, and efforts to refine the NRHA logo began in 2020 with the intention of a coincidental domain change upon launch. Both projects came to fruition in late 2021.

Q: How were the new logo and domain selected?

NRHA: The NRHA contemplated various domain name options and found ruralhealth.us to be the best fit. It echoes the mission of our organization and more clearly defines our objectives and geographical location. Previous versions of the NRHA logo were easily identifiable, so we wanted to retain the basic rural elements of the original design. We were fortunate that the NRHA logo implemented in the '80s stood the test of time, and it remained a valuable component in the rebranding effort. The new logo features cleaner, bolder lines that contribute to a more flexible style portfolio.

Q: How have the changes been rolled out across the organization?

NRHA: The logo designs were finalized in late spring of 2021, and in early June we began gradually distributing the assets internally. Migrating our website involved converting content over a longer time frame. Most everything was finalized just in time for the NRHA’s fall conferences, the Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital conferences. Because our live conferences were restructured for a virtual environment in the last weeks of planning, the events were a great pilot for the new branding. All final assets, including email addresses and logos, were distributed and released from public embargo just as the website was migrated to our new domain on schedule by Oct. 14.

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