The Nielsen Trust

Rick Nielsen of the hall of rock and roll fame band, Cheap Trick, contacted me in a panic for brand development of his side-project launch, The Nielsen Trust. It featuring family members—Miles, Kelly, and Daxx—of his new band that I’ve individually worked with over the years to lead their music brand campaigns. Rick is highly tuned into identity and marketability—look at the simple, black/white, timeless brand approach of Cheap Trick. The potential to steer brand identity for merchandising while representing the core spirit of rock and roll always inspires me.

I’m sharing this brand identity campaign, its phases, and how I present core ideas cautiously as an example of what happens when I allow too many ideas—good and bad—to leave my domain without restraint. I’m sure seeing my process below tickles branding design trolls and marketing firm creepers, thieves, and hacks. There is a skill to holding back and reserving ideas for another time because you’re seeing here is a helluva amount of time that’s been invested to end up nowhere. You can see from the brand development phases below where the direction began to take a detour, and that’s on me for not using the pause button on direction. This process is important, seeing how brand identity plays out.

The Nielsen Trust adventure began in late 2019 and took an immediate halt around the turn of 2020. Rick’s touring schedule with Cheap Trick and my day job presented timely obstacles which prevented this campaign from getting locked in and settled. 2020 then took a turn for all with the pandemic and here we stand.

Working with Rick is easy and fun but his brain, like mine, fires off ideas with ease and sans creative restraint. Restraint is a necessary ideation-to-production skill. He and I lost the plot around the time he mentioned police badge concepts that had crossed his mind while driving around Roscoe, Illinois—something to that effect. I’m one for trying out the kitchen sink and here we still sit. Thank you, Covid and 2020, for putting a halt to where this was heading. Pause, restart, 2021.

ClientThe Nielsen TrustServicesBrand Identity Direction and

Phase 2b — Guitar Pick and Police Badge Concepts

Phase 2b of brand identity development for “The Nielsen Trust” is based on a discussion with Rick.

📬 dD  |  10.23.19

Phase 2 — Finalist Selections

Phase 2 of brand identity development for “The Nielsen Trust”. 

📬 dD  |  10.17.19

Phase 1 — Logo Ideas

Hello—below is Phase 1 of brand identity development for “The Nielsen Trust”. 

🎳 Phase 1 includes refined black and white ideas executed by various styles, typefaces, and elements to consider what you’re willing to live with and go forward with mass media marketing initiatives. Feel free to share amongst your trusted circle of family and friends to conduct an internal review/critique/selection process.  Phase 1’s goal  is to weed out one to 2 all-star players from the losing players.

🛠 Phase 2 will explore your selection(s) on dark backgrounds; along with alternate style applications of the logo(s); to select 1 from (if necessary—Phase 1 sometimes results in the final winning logo with no runner ups.)

💰 Phase 3 is the final individual logo selection dressed up with 1 to 2 to 3 color themes (varies) to ride alongside the final black and white logo selection; at this point a set of files will also be supplied to reproduce or modify colors, distribute to third party vendors (printers) anything—the exclusive license to the selected brand logo is now yours.

🍕Off ya go—enjoy!

📬 dD  |  10.15.19

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