This year, I taught a graduate class on branding called Nature of Identity at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Jon Wong was one of my graduate students this spring. He took on the challenge of reinvigorating the Hoyle brand, currently associated mostly with gaming (cards, boards, and their digital counterparts).

During the first month of the course, students are tasked with uncovering the essence of the brand they chose. To find out what makes their brand unique in the marketplace, they are asked to research the company history, its mission and values, targeted and potential customer profiles, who the competitors are, as well as to map out brand attributes through brand grids.

Through the research Jon uncovered that Edmond Hoyle was a writer, lawyer, and tutor best known for his works on the rules of card games. He published books and was sought after for advise. The phrase “according to Hoyle” came into the language as a reflection of his generally perceived authority on the subject.

Back in his day, Hoyle was an authority.

Jon decided to turn the Hoyle brand away from “fun”, and bring it back to its roots of being an authority on leisure.

The next two months of the semester are devoted to visualizing the newly defined brand strategy. It begins with a logo exploration, which in Jon’s case culminated in the modern monogram seen above. The logo and its guidelines are explored and presented in a brand book, with various examples of applications. The examples below illustrate how the new Hoyle brand would extend beyond card games, and into other areas of leisure, such as clothing, food or travel.