National Investor Relations Institute

Publication redesign, ongoing design, rebranding, and decade long communication support.
Case Study
National Investor Relations Institute

THOR has been working with NIRI for over a decade to produce award-winning publications, hundreds of communications elements, and a highly regarded brand.

NIRI, the National Investor Relations Institute, is the voice of the Investor Relations industry. The professionals represented by this association fill critical roles in the world financial markets and turn to NIRI for in-depth analysis of the ever changing landscape of their workplace.

Our decade long role with NIRI represents a recurring pattern with our clients. We are often hired to provide a single service and over time, given the quality of our work and attention to customer service, we become a trusted partner that provides solutions across the organization’s entire communications portfolio. In the case of NIRI, we began with the redesign of their flagship publication, IR Update. The magazine has won numerous design awards, most recently the AZBEE Magazine of the Year honors. Issue after issue we have dedicated ourselves to the mission of producing a refined and consistent publication with thought provoking imagery and graphics for this niche industry

The Breadth of a Single Organization’s Needs

NIRI is a prime example of the incredible breadth of needs that a single organization has within its communications platform. Over the years THOR has completed hundreds of jobs for NIRI spanning all types of media. Our team is adept at melding the NIRI brand to the specific strengths of a given medium, whether that is print, digital, environmental, or video based. At any given moment we may be working on branded imagery to support the NIRI website, print advertising for financial publications, large-format branding for investor meetings, or any of dozens of other custom requests. Our experience and understanding of the specific technical and aesthetic demands of these varied projects is something that only comes from experience and a commitment to continuously keep step with modern communications.

NIRI Logo and Rebrand

Logos are systems that need to meld to a wide variety of uses.

Creating a new logo and brand guideline represents the highest level of trust that an organization can put in its design firm. While a logo may be one of the simplest graphics that a organization uses in its communications, it is by far the most difficult to create. Because of the simplicity every element of the design must be closely refined and considered. Because of the constant use of the logo and color palette, each and every future placement must be predicted and considered in order to produce an element that represents the mission of the organization while seamlessly blending with the content that it brands. It’s a subtle balancing act and one that takes experience to properly achieve.

We begin with a wide variety of directions.

Our rebrand process begins with conversations to establish a storyline of where the organization has been, how it seems itself in the present, and where it hopes to go. From those discussions we produce a series of initial designs. We tend to push ourselves during this early stage to venture into territory that is at the edge of the clients comfort level. With ample time later in the process to reign in the design it is helpful to start with a process that feels unbounded and open to possibility.

A logo can't be judged until it is seen in context.

As the process moves on we inevitably settle upon a chosen logo and palette and begin to refine the small details. We create mock-ups of the logo in context to allow for visualization. Eventually, we begin to use the logo on promotional items and create the last few nip and tucks to achieve the final graphic. It is at this point that we generate a brand guideline that captures both the technical aspects of the brand and the current mission and goals of the organization. This document serves as a primary reference for maintaining an organization wide focus on the core elements of the communications effort. 

NIRI Annual Conference

Large scale annual meetings provide an entire universe of design needs for an organization. For a decade we’ve helped NIRI to create a thematic visual approach to their conference and then to expand that approach to a myriad collection of materials. As with all brands, the work begins with a process of producing a wild array of options that are whittled down to a refined theme. That theme has to be designed with the ability to be morphed into virtually every size, shape, and form to include the smallest of web banners to the graphics that fill the wall of a convention center.  

Every conference receives a distinct and custom theme.
Every theme receives numerous treatments to get the creative process started.
A small sampling of some of the signage needed for an annual meeting.
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