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North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON)

Modernizing a 120-year-old organization. Positioning them for future success.

The North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) recently engaged The Marketing Machine (TMM) to embark on a rebrand journey that, ultimately, would culminate in a new original logo, a refreshed color palette and a reinvigorated voice.


Established in 1903, the NCBON is the exclusive regulatory and licensing body for the practice of nursing in North Carolina. The NC State Legislature created it to ensure minimum standards of competency for nurses in the state and to provide safe nursing care to the public. At present, more than 175,000 nurses in NC are licensed with the Board.

With equity, integrity, and agility, the Board strives to uphold its mandate to protect healthcare consumers who receive nursing services. More specifically, the Board aims to:

  • Promote legislative change that will improve nursing care and safeguard the public
  • Fund vital programs and services for nurses, enabling innovation in nursing education and practice
  • Strengthen collaborative relationships with external stakeholders
North Carolina Board of Nursing Old LogoNorth Carolina Board of Nursing New Logo

Project Goals a.k.a. The Assignment

For NCBON, our marching orders were clear:

  • Perform a deep-dive brand audit to uncover the essence of the organization
  • Help position NCBON as expert, modern, inclusive, and community-focused
  • Help NCBON be perceived as authoritative yet approachable
  • Think strategically about the name of the organization and its potential use of an acronym
  • Develop a modern and striking color palette that stands out
  • Introduce balanced typography that reflects the spirit and culture of the organization
  • Create an original logo that evolves away from using the state outline of North Carolina
  • Help prevent NCBON from being confused with any similar organization in the category


The Board found itself in a situation common among healthcare and related associations: how to stay fresh and relevant and be perceived to be on the cutting edge to ensure that branding, logo, business cards, and letterhead are current, vibrant and reflect the progress made and future direction of the organization.

Enter The Marketing Machine (TMM).

We are the rebranding specialists who have helped organizations understand their culture, their core message, and their audience to reimagine their brands with an originally crafted custom logo leading the way.

The Process

At The Marketing Machine, we follow a proven and multi-step iterative process designed to yield real insights, help foster consensus among key stakeholders, and inform creative development.

The Marketing Machine Case Study Discovery Icon

Step #1:


For NCBON, the first step was to have members of their executive team and employees across the organization complete a detailed branding questionnaire. The goal of this exercise was to elicit unbiased responses about why the brand exists, its mission, vision and values, key competitors, and the mood and tone of the company according to each respondent.

The Marketing Machine Case Study Kickoff Icon

Step #2:


Next, we scheduled a kickoff meeting to review what we learned from the questionnaire. Like we always do, we came prepared. We held an open forum for discussion to ensure everyone was heard. We aimed to emerge with head nods and alignment regarding shapes, colors, icons, and overall brand feel. Getting this right was vital, as these insights would drive the design decisions we would ultimately make. One key thing we learned was that their look, logo, and overall company identity were getting lost in a sea of sameness. They looked just like every other healthcare association out there, and we needed to change that. We wanted to capture the heart and soul of this organization and help it shine.

The Marketing Machine Case Study Create Icon

Step #3:


Step 3 was an internal creative meeting where we distilled everything we learned about NCBON. From there, our art directors and graphic designers set off to create original logos and a refreshed brand identity. We incorporated the input we received—what logos the client liked, symbols to avoid, typography that captures the tone of their brand, what they wanted their new colors to convey to others, etc. We never design blindly or in a silo.

Paul Spinak, Creative Director

“We always work with clients to pull the brand out of them. We never project what we want onto the brand. It’s about them, not us.”

Our Solutions

North Carolina Board Of Nursing Logo
North Carolina Board Of Nursing Logo
North Carolina Board Of Nursing Brand Business Card
North Carolina Board Of Nursing Letterhead Envelopes
North Carolina Board Of Nursing Pocket Folder
North Carolina Board Of Nursing Brand Colors
North Carolina Board Of Nursing Brand Web Typeface
North Carolina Board Of Nursing Brand Print Typeface
North Carolina Board Of Nursing Style Guide

Logo Design

We presented multiple logos and creative directions at various stages of the design process. Through a deductive process, we zeroed in on the options that captured the heart and culture of NCBON today and where the brand is headed.

All our logos aimed to visually telegraph the interconnectedness and transparency of the organization and communicate both its softness and strength.

After presenting color as well as black and white logo options (a logo should be just as powerful even when it is in black and white), this was the winning logo design. In a contemporary and abstract way, it represented the four areas of North Carolina—mountains, piedmont, intracoastal and tidewater.

North Carolina Board of Nursing Board Room

Here is a mockup of the selected logo in the client’s work environment.


We introduced new typefaces into NCBON’s visual lexicon. We were deliberate in choosing a clean, sans-serif typeface that would evoke the professionalism and excellence of the organization while providing a modern look.

North Carolina Board Of Nursing Brand Web Typeface
North Carolina Board Of Nursing Brand Web Typeface
North Carolina Board Of Nursing Brand Print Typeface

Color Palette

With color, we wanted to strike a mood that was calm yet cutting-edge. We chose colors that matched how the clients see themselves—polished, structured, modern and inclusive.

North Carolina Board of Nursing Brand Colors

Letterhead & Folder Design

Applying the results.

The logo, typography and colors all converge to create a unique and ownable brand identity. Refreshed letterhead makes an immediate visual impact with readers and creates an inviting entryway into communication.

North Carolina Board Of Nursing Letterhead Envelopes
North Carolina Board Of Nursing Letterhead Envelopes
North Carolina Board Of Nursing Pocket Folder

Business Card Design

A look that stands out.

We created two-sided business cards with rounded edges that were clean, modern, and striking. The goal: a card that elicits emotion and generates response.

North Carolina Board of Nursing Brand Business Card

Social Media Branding

Will it work on the web?

The success of any rebrand project is measured by its ability to work synergistically across multiple media platforms. For NCBON, we applied the new look to social media channels, giving the brand a hip yet authoritative presence.

North Carolina Board of Nursing Social Media

Tangible Outcomes

A rebrand is more than a logo or a simple design exercise. It’s art with a purpose.

For us and NCBON, it was a journey toward capturing the essence of their organization now and positioning them for future success.

Now, with a stronger foundation, NCBNON is ready to connect with the hearts and minds of a new generation of nurses across North Carolina and move one step closer to fulfilling its vision of exemplary nursing care for all.

7 Key Achievements:

  1. We persuaded the client to deactivate old links and confusing portals and embrace simplicity.
  2. We helped them find common ground and make visual selections that appealed to all stakeholders.
  3. We created logos and established colors that aligned with their brand descriptors.
  4. We reimagined their color palette and revamped their entire brand identity.
  5. We helped apply our refreshed style to a new website launching soon.
  6. We transformed how their brand interacts with the outside world.
  7. We helped develop a rationale for the use of the NCBON acronym externally.

What NCBON’S CEO Had to Say

Crystal Tillman DNP, RN, CNP, FRE

“NCBON worked closely with The Marketing Machine (TMM) to develop a new logo and branding for the organization. We were very pleased with the customer service, professionalism, and artistic ability of TMM. It was especially helpful to have the agency discuss the rationale for the logo and colors chosen. An electronic portfolio was given that contained the proper way of using the logo, fonts, and color schemes. I would highly recommend TMM to anyone searching to develop a new logo or branding.”

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