Case study

Redefining Bankrate's branding


I co-led a small “squad” with members of our design team to reimagine Bankrate’s brand identity. The final result would be applied across all touchpoints to create stronger brand awareness and a more consistent look and feel.

Over the course of a few months and collaborative workshops (All virtual, due to Covid-19 and remote locations), we came up with a look and feel we were all really pleased with. The following is my execution, but many elements made it into the final brand as seen today.

Made at

Bankrate (2020)


Design kits

Other creative credits

Ricky Carlton (designer)

The brand squad


Visual designer

A laptop and phone screen displaying a redesigned homepage

The problem

As a designer, I found it challenging to create branded imagery I was happy with because we were still in an exploratory phase. I wanted something that could be easily replicable and easy to recognize as “Bankrate.”

3 tiles showing different guidelines for branding project goals

Design approach

Gather a small team to focus on branding, with clear goals set. We achieved this through a series of small workshops and sessions over Zoom and Slack.

Before designing too far away from what we already established, we laid out the basics of elements we knew were “must haves” for the Bankrate brand. This included the primary color, and a few brand pillars and characteristics that were laid out in previous sprints.

Make templates to explore from

It helped to have the same base to start with, so I created a template file of a few on-site widgets and features for everyone to add their branding explorations to. This went down really well, and we had a lot more alignment of ideas compared to previous exercises.

A design template of different objectives to redesign in a design program
Voting results showing on a google sheet, with the original Invision behind it

Get together and vote on it

Since this was mid-pandemic, we couldn’t “get together” in person, but instead we made it a virtual design sprint event. We uploaded all explorations to Invision and invited the entire creative team to use 3 comments (as “dots”) to vote on anything they liked, using the comment field to write more if they wanted.

I gathered all of the comments/votes and added them to a Google Sheet to get a different view, and noticed some very clear winners and trends for what was resonating.


Together, we landed on a look and feel that we were really happy with, and confident in how to execute it on any project or design.

Example of a lightbox with strong brand colors.
Basic lightbox with a password field to continue saving account.
Quote from Greg:

Takeaways and challenges

Don’t assume everyone is on the same page

This is especially true if there are no solid rules or guidance to reference. “You” might have a great memory for details, or a gut feeling, but others may not. It’s important to set the baseline of expectations and share that with your team.

Share your work early

During the week when we were working on the templates, two designers had what we called “a-ha” moments with design elements. They shared their works in progress and it spun the team in even more creative directions.

When we all shared our explorations, the end results were all pretty aligned, compared to earlier exercises, which was awesome to see!

At a glance

Establishing clear goals in the beginning will prevent confusion and chaos later on.

Share your WIPs, you never know what might inspire someone and you can bounce ideas back and forth.

Document your decisions when final.

© Heather Geary