What's with the Pink Highlighter?


You may have noticed my recent rebrand, which features a touch of pink highlighter pen. This simple item of stationary is bold, colourful and allows for the meaningful to be seen in the midst of the mundane. Likewise, my freelance communications business exists to help brands find ways of standing out from the crowd and being noticed by their customers.

Several people have asked about the creative process behind my rebrand, so I have outlined the process in nine stages.


First things first, I wanted to work out who I was hoping to reach with my website and social media channels. As a marketing and communications freelancer in Cornwall, I decided to clearly define who my target audiences were.

- Local creatives  
Artists, designers, makers, theatres and creatives based in the South West, looking to find ways to promote their work and reach their customers.

- Ethical organisations
Charities, environmentally friendly businesses and community based projects looking to make a difference in the lives of others.

- Creative agencies
Marketing and design studios that need an extra pair of hands with client work, one-off campaigns or ongoing projects.


It was important for me to clarify what my brand values were, so that I could ensure my brand clearly communicated the essence of who I am, both as an individual and a professional. Here are the four words I chose to sum up my business:

- Creative
Whether it’s putting together a marketing campaign or finding innovative ways to engage with an audience, I work to generate creative and thoughtful ways for businesses to get their message across.

- Meaningful
From championing culture and creativity to partnering with organisations that make the world a better place, I aspire to work with meaningful businesses that make a difference to the lives of others.

- Strategic
As well as thinking creatively, I work hard to ensure a marketing or communications plan is strategically implemented and results driven.

- Community focused
My business exists to champion others and see communities created around ethical, environmental and meaningful causes.


When putting together the design brief, I provided my designer with some key visual references to illustrate what I had in mind. I wanted my brand to be bright, bold and confident with a human touch. Given that pink was the predominant colour in my Unsolicited Compassion project, it was a visual reference I already associated with my business and was keen to incorporate into the colour palette.


My marvellous designer, Sekyeong Kwon, decided to consolidate my brand values and service offering into a simple object: the pink highlighter pen. When asking for her reasoning, she said: “a highlighter is the first tool used when working on a brand identity. It’s main purpose is to bring clarity in a busy context, allowing the extraordinary to stand out. Each stroke is different, showing how you provide a bespoke solution for every client’s brief.” The pink highlighter pen also allows for brand flexibility, applying the recognisable ‘Bethia Naughton-Rumbo’ stamp in each context.


If the highlighter pen concept was going to work, it was important for us to decide on a strong typeface that would bring consistency in amongst the pink loveliness. Sekyeong chose heading, main body and subbody typefaces which were from the Google Fonts family, designed specifically for web accessibility.


Next was the fun part. With Sekyeong’s brand guidelines in place, I was able to start playing with highlighters and thinking up lots of different ways to apply the look. From bright pink arrows on my homepage banner and underlined sections of my CV to illustrate my strategic approach, to a touch of pink on my logo and hand drawn illustrations on my business cards to show creative flair, there were so many ways to apply the brand identity. Sekyeong also designed several versions of the logo to be used in a variety of contexts, all using the Work Sans typeface and a stroke of highlighter.


Rebranding and getting a new website up and running would have been pretty tricky without a solid team behind me. Digital producer, Carly Gale, did a brilliant job of putting the website together for me and providing guidance along the way.


Finally, there was no point in going to all this effort if my brand didn’t resonate with the target audiences I outlined at the start. Before going live, I ran the concept past various relevant people: an artist, writer, graphic designer, web developer and creative business owner. Thankfully, the feedback was positive all round and ‘Bethia Naughton-Rumbo’ was launched!


It’s all very well having a beautiful brand identity, but I needed to get the word out about my services and let organisations know I was available for business. As well as emailing my regular clients and contacts, I put together a social media campaign on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to take my followers along the rebrand journey with me and point new customers to my website. Announcing the launch was an exciting moment, and I’ve had some wonderful feedback so far.

Bethia Naughton-Rumbo