American Association for Anatomy

Renaming and Rebranding an Association


American Association for Anatomy (AAA)


In January 2019, Gavilan & Associates (G&A) in partnership with GRAPHEK, engaged with the American Association of Anatomists to provide marketing, communications, research and graphic design consultation in support of their then-pending name change to the American Association for Anatomy.

The name change broadens the focus of the organization to encompass all components of the anatomy field, not only those who consider themselves “anatomists.”

Research & Discovery

AAA had support for the name change prior to our engagement but wanted to verify it through stakeholder interviews. Therefore, the G&A team interviewed a cross-section of their members, from college and university professors to physical therapists, to gain insight on the name change and future messaging. These interviews were invaluable, and the findings provided significant direction for the rebranding initiative.

The G&A team also conducted a Communications Audit of AAA materials and a Competitive Analysis to influence next steps.

Brand Launch Plan & Messaging Strategy

A multichannel Brand Launch Plan was developed for AAA that included:

  • Goals and objectives to measure success
  • Audiences in priority order
  • A messaging platform, including a brand launch theme, “Connecting Science,” which communicates that the organization connects all aspects of anatomy — gross, developmental, molecular and veterinary
  • Tactics for the brand roll-out, such as a kick-off event, a social media campaign, targeted emails, a marketing toolkit for staff and volunteers and more
  • A comprehensive timeline for implementation
  • An Audience and Communications Channel Matrix that provides a quick snapshot of the communication tools per target audience

Visual Identity

The visual identity component included:

  • Development of a Creative Brief which outlined the vision for the new logo, tone, feel and brand identity
  • Development of a new logo and color palette, with the logo focusing on the subtle, yet important name change
  • Development of a custom, modern brand look and feel which demonstrates how anatomy connects various aspects of science
  • Comprehensive brand guidelines
  • A new ad, social media graphics, business cards, a membership brochure, press release and more.


The messaging, logo and brand identity were well-received by AAA management, and a full brand roll-out began in August 2019. The new brand inhabits the website, social media pages, research journals, member materials and more, including promotion of the organization’s 2020 annual meeting. In addition, AAA distributed a series of emails and a marketing toolkit to introduce the new brand.

Below are some of the member comments received when the new brand launched:

  • I really like the new logo as well as the concept behind it, as well as the re-solidification of the AAA’s priorities.
  • Love the new logo!
  • Hello integration and diversity! Love the idea of scientists from different majors with a common interest.
  • Love it #forAnatomy. I’ve been a member for less than a year, but I can’t say enough about how welcoming & supportive this organization has been.
  • Love the modern look (especially the font!!!) @AnatomyOrg … Can’t wait to start using the new logo in future presentations/posters!