A New Look for the New Year
James S. Allan, MD, MBA, AST President
Today, the American Society of Transplantation (AST) is proud to announce the roll-out of a new brand image and a new website. This change is not simply cosmetic: it reflects the culmination of a multi-year process to strategically modernize the society's image and to provide advanced functionality to our members' most important interface with our organization.
The American Society of Transplant Physicians was formed in 1982 by a small group from the American Society of Nephrology to represent a growing number of transplant physicians who were committed and essential to the growth of our field. In 1998, the ASTP became the AST, in recognition of the many professionals of different backgrounds who are essential to the transplant team.
Over the years, our society has had a number of visual representations, a few of which I have shown here:
In the process of re-examining our brand image, society members and professionals in the area of marketing and communications consistently noted that our present logo suffered from issues around readability, scalability, and font mixing — all of which gave our brand moniker a dated appearance.
Also, the arrow imagery (originally intended to represent the idea of recycling an organ) has widely been adopted by the waste recycling movement, and many felt that our logo should not resemble the imprint on the bottom of a disposable drinking cup.
Finally, we all know that the field of transplantation encompasses so much more than simply moving an organ from one person to another. If one simply looks at the many COPs and committees of the AST, one can see the breadth and complexity of our endeavors, which include everything from basic immunology research to crafting public policy around organ allocation.
As America’s leading transplantation organization, the AST represents a multifaceted group of patient-centered professionals dedicated to improving care by promoting research, education, advocacy, and organ donation. Going forward, the AST has chosen the following brand image to better represent our reality as a modern, vibrant professional society:
This is more than a makeover – it represents some changes we are making to transition toward becoming a more public-facing organization. We have always been a patient-centered professional society, but so far we have only partnered in limited ways with patients and patient organizations. Patients are typically united by their disease, while transplant patients are instead united by the technique used to treat the disease. This unique patient population has amazing stories that we need to share with the general public to increase awareness of and raise additional funding for transplant research, education, and advocacy.
Our transition to a public-facing organization began in earnest last summer with our first patient advisory group meeting to help us identify how to best serve and partner with them. We are also starting the second year of an engagement with a cause-marketing firm, which is helping the AST develop the means to more effectively engage with public corporations and foundations in the support of our mission. Our new brand image was also designed to work in harmony with our public-facing Power2Save initiative, which will be significantly enhanced in the coming year.
Along with our new branding, we are rolling out an entirely new website, which not only has a more modern, sleek appearance, but also has new enhancements that make the user-interface more intuitive. Perhaps most importantly, the new site is mobile-responsive so you can access AST education and information on any device you choose. The new website also incorporates the convenience of single sign on (SSO).
I would like to personally thank the following people who have led this effort:
- Christopher Blosser
- Michael Ison
- Alexander Wiseman
- Melissa Yeung
- Shandie Covington
- Mike Boudreau
- Libby McDannell
- Kristin Burke
- Cate Girone
- Rae Massi
Content-wise, the new website will host pages for board meeting summaries and for volunteer information, to help increase the AST's transparency for those looking to get more involved with our society. Stay tuned for these enhancements.
I encourage you to take a look at the new site and provide feedback to info@myAST.org – positive or negative! Redesigning a website as complex as ours is quite a process, and we intend to continue to improve it based on your input. I would also encourage you to take advantage of increased networking through the Hub, on our various social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), or by emailing any of the AST staff members with your questions.
I look forward to seeing you at CEOT 2016 this February and hearing your thoughts about the AST’s new logo, new website, and new direction.