This RFP is for a full rebrand of Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), a regional arts organization and experienced developer of technology solutions for the arts and creative industries. We are seeking a firm or agency with experience in managing WordPress sites and whose work aligns with the following values of the organization:
- Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility
- Innovation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing
- Artists, creativity, and creative vitality
- Advocacy for the arts at local, state, and national levels
Current website: www.westaf.org
Budget for full rebrand: $80,000-$100,000
Launch date for new brand: January 2, 2023
WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation) is a regional nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to strengthening the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West. WESTAF assists state arts agencies, arts organizations, and artists in their quest to serve diverse audiences, enrich the lives of local communities, and provide access to the arts and arts education for all. Through innovative programming, advocacy, research, technology, and grantmaking, WESTAF encourages the creative advancement and preservation of the arts regionally and through a national network of customers and alliances.
Founded in 1974, WESTAF is located in Denver, Colorado and governed by a 22-member board of trustees composed of arts leaders in the West. WESTAF serves the largest constituent territory of the six U.S. Regional Arts Organizations (RAOs) and includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Alongside the other six RAOs (a national collective of place-based nonprofit arts service organizations committed to strengthening America’s infrastructure by increasing access to creativity for all Americans), WESTAF works across the United States to activate and operate national arts initiatives, encourage and support collaboration across regions, states, and communities, and maximize the coordination of public and private resources invested in arts programs.
Mission statement: “WESTAF weaves technology, diverse thought leadership, and innovation to energize, network, and fund public sector arts agencies and communities.”
Objectives of the Project
WESTAF has had the same logo and visual identity for many decades. Its mission statement and vision have largely remained unchanged as well. We would like to reimagine the WESTAF brand to be fresher, more modern, and to reflect how the organization has evolved — reinforcing its dynamic and diverse work across the Western states, as well as nationally with its five distinct technology products for the arts and culture field. Over the past year, the WESTAF’s senior leadership team has engaged in strategic discussions to clarify our identity, including a refreshed values statement, guiding principles, and a clearer mission and vision.
- The National Endowment for the Arts
- State and Jurisdictional Arts Agencies
- Regional Arts Organizations
- National arts service organizations
- National government entities
- State arts agencies
- Cultural organizations
- Arts organizations (state, city, and local)
- Arts advocates
- Public and private funders: foundations, corporations, government entities
- Emerging Leaders of Color (ELC) alumni
- Current/previous grantees
- Arts education professionals
- Community organizations/partners
- WESTAF Board of Trustees
- Clients of WESTAF technology products
- Members of the media: arts, creative economy, policy and advocacy
Background and Challenges
WESTAF has several sub-brands not only in its grant programs and convenings but also with its five technology products, each with their own distinct brand identity. There is a challenge in explaining how WESTAF’s technology products connect, contribute to and sustain our advocacy, policy, and equity-based programs and services within WESTAF, as well as how best to enhance this understanding among our various audiences.
As WESTAF’s regional and national reputation for advocacy, policy, social responsibility and inclusion continues to strengthen, it is important that our programs and services and the values of WESTAF be front and center to our technology products, a hierarchy that is not prominent or clearly articulated in our current brand. We seek to reimagine our narrative and how we tell the WESTAF story, as well as the stories of the diverse artists and communities in the West.
We are now in the process of updating our website to a more current template that is more modern, dynamic, visual, accessible, and user-friendly. We expect to complete this work by March 31, 2022. The current WESTAF website, launched more than six years ago, was initially developed by a former staff member on a WordPress platform. WESTAF then hired a firm to complete the project, however the site was built out in a manner that makes it very onerous to manage and update. We maintain the site internally, but with many challenges. Workarounds are often necessary, with mixed results.
We are seeking a firm or agency with extensive experience in rebranding organizations; experience rebranding nonprofit and/or arts and creative organizations is preferred. The successful agency will ideally be located in the western region of the United States and will be BIPOC- and/or women-owned or led. The selected firm will work closely with WESTAF’s Marketing and Communications Department to provide a comprehensive recommendation for rebranding the organization, including logo development, messaging, and website development. Depending on the direction the discovery process with key stakeholders takes, the rebrand may also include an organizational name change. The selected firm will be given appropriate access to WESTAF senior leadership, staff, and board members during the course of the project. It is expected that the selected firm also will seek input from WESTAF’s clients and key stakeholders.
The rebranding effort will include a redesign of WESTAF’s current logo, reinforced with a tagline. It’s important to note that in addition to the main WESTAF logo and identity, the organization also has separate and distinct logos for all five of its technology products, as well as some (but not all) of its grant programs, convenings/conferences, and some of its programs, e.g., Emerging Leaders of Color (ELC). While the request within this project is only to redesign the WESTAF logo, recommendations presented to rebrand WESTAF will need to consider these additional elements within the hierarchy of the WESTAF organization.
At the conclusion of the project, the selected firm will provide WESTAF with a finalized nomenclature, logo and tagline, an executable brand package including detailed treatment of marketing materials (with graphic elements, fonts and color palettes), and a standards manual that will provide guidance to staff in seamlessly executing the new brand.
The rebrand will also include the design and development of a new organizational website. Site content from the currently-in-development interim WESTAF website will need to be migrated over to a new, user-friendly, sleek and modern template that integrates photos, visual content, and text while preserving the basic sitemap of the existing site. Our priorities for the new site design include migrating to a modern template that supports visual storytelling, ensuring that the website is accessible, streamlined, and innovative, updating the homepage to be more dynamic and to better highlight key activities and information.
At least one member of WESTAF’s technology team will be available for assistance with back-end development, wordpress configuration, and other administrative tasks such as security, SEO, and hosting. The new WESTAF site must be compatible with all major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge) and responsive to mobile and desktop devices. Additionally, the new site must follow all ADA accessibility guidelines, reaching WCAG-AA ADA compliance.
Estimated Project Duration
It is anticipated that the rebranding project will take approximately 8-10 months from contract signing to complete.
Selection of a final partner for the project will be determined by the MarComm Department as well as an internal selection committee that will evaluate which firm is best qualified to complete the project based on the information requested in the RFP. The selection committee reserves the right to determine the number of finalists, but it is expected that up to three firms will be selected for further consideration.
Schedule for Selection Process
Issuance of RFP: Week of January 10, 2022
Responses Due: January 25, 2022
Finalists Notified by Email: Week of January 31, 2022
Finalist Interviews: Week of February 7, 2022
Award of Contract: Week of February 14, 2022
Anticipated Commencement of Project: March 1, 2022
Anticipated Completion of Project: December 30, 2022
Proposals must be submitted in a .pdf format via email to Leah Horn at: Leah.Horn@westaf.org and must include the following:
- Firm profile, length of time in business, and a description of the firm’s core competencies.
- Description of the firm’s design philosophy and methodology.
- Portfolio of similar work completed for previous clients including a comprehensive package illustrating rebranding through tagline development and design elements and colors carried through a variety of promotional pieces.
- Description of the firm’s availability to begin the project in accordance with the schedule (see below). Provide a proposed timeline for implementation and delivery.
- List of service fees for the completion of the elements as requested, with the total estimated cost to complete the project, and hourly fees (with number of hours estimated) or flat rates to complete the following:
- Integrated imagery and complimentary design elements/font/color schemes
- Standards manual for carrying out the brand across the organization in a seamless and consistent manner
- Biographies for key individual(s) assigned to the project including tenure with the firm. Please note that if your firm is selected as a finalist, you will be asked to bring to the interview only those key individuals who will be working on the account.
- Three references including the type of work done for each and the date of completion. Please include company name, address, phone number and contact name.
- A summary explaining why your firm is most qualified.
Responses to this RFP are due by January 25, 2022 at 5 p.m. (MT). Upon review, vendors may be asked to meet with WESTAF staff working on this project. Notification of the winning bid will be made no later than February 14, 2022.
Proposals should contain the following sections:
- Executive Summary
- Corporate information
- Qualifications, including a list of the last 5 completed web projects with finish dates, URLs, and contact information
- A description of your development process
- Project stages
- Proposed team and qualifications
- Proposed schedule
- Cost estimates broken down by project component, as well as your regular billable rate
- Cost estimate for migrating site from current host
- Terms and conditions