Elevated Branding for Excited Customers

One of the biggest joys of not just good design, but good design systems, is that everyone gets to benefit from it. The customers are excited to see a refreshed look and feel that works better on their devices, leading to more clicks. The Creative team gets to flex their muscles with immediate portfolio-ready pieces that makes them rockstars within the company. The internal partner, in this case Lifecycle Marketing, hits their KPIs and no longer has to focus on development and production. And me? I get to spend just one weekend making templates, and marvel as the team takes it to internal and external success.


The Mission

CLEAR needed to update the design and copy of its marketing to encourage more engagement and lead to more memberships. But with an unclear system for the handoff from Creative to the Lifecycle and Growth teams, combined with a lengthy development process involving multiple platforms, we needed to destroy and rebuild the whole production process.

The Outcome

With Creative as a whole solidifying the high level Brand Guidelines, the digital designers focused on bringing those guidelines into a design system within XD. Simultaneously, I scrapped our old email code and rewrote a responsive update from scratch, and made some quick animation guardrails in After Effects. The team now had a set of digital assets that allowed them to easily scale standard projects, and go full out creatively on tentpole campaigns.

The Impact

We focused on gorgeous location photography, interviews with the field teams, bold type, and clear yet fun copy, which brought an elevated and personal touch to CLEAR's social feeds and email marketing. The response was excellent; the internal teams loved how "sexy" we looked, and customers responded with increased engagement through the year. CTRs from our '21 Cyber Monday and '22 July 4th tentpoles also had the highest increase YoY to date.


Creative Direction, Brand Identity Design, Email Design, Design for Paid/Organic Social, HTML/CSS/JS, Motion Graphics


With the Marketing and Creative teams still being fairly new to the CLEAR ecosystem, we were still figuring our the best way to collaborate with the Lifecycle and Growth teams, both strategically and logistically. Previously, seperate email image slices would be sent to the Lifecycle team, and then they optimized the images, built the code in Stripo (an online WYSIWYG email builder), took the code to Dreamweaver to replace all the hosted links, and then uploaded the new code to Salesforce. This was not sustainable, especially as the number of emails was ramping up to support growing partnerships. And for social and display ads, we were falling victim to the "get 'er done" mentality; knocking our multiple sizes of ad deliverables with too much copy and the same stocky images.

It was time to throw out the whole system and have Creative take the reins back. Leading a team with two Senior Designers, a Senior Copywriter, a Junior Production Designer, and a Junior UI/UX Designer, I kicked off the process by first taking our old emails and scrapping the code. Taking an audit of all our different email types across our audiences, I redesigned everything into one master email with code block templates for each layout type that could be shifted around as needed. The code was also properly responsive with embedded and inline CSS.

Before and after
GUest Pass Emails: Spring 2021 + Summer

The Senior Lifecycle Designer and Junior UI/UX Designer took the foundation and blew it out the water, making rolling updates to the code to match the shifting designs, optimizing for dark mode and increased browser support. They also stretched the boundaries of how email layouts could look within those email code blocks, playing with overlapping shapes, full bleed imagery, and dynamic content blocks using Moveable Ink.

Redesigned Responsive Emails


When it came to tentpole campaigns, the team was highly skilled at finding the story that drives a set of designs. As Creative's cache grew within the company, the silos started to fade, and copy, design and marketing began truly collaborating at the beginning of the project lifespan. The Copywriter and Senior Designer for Growth combined forces to create beautiful layouts and animations at a execution level never before seen in the company.


The skill of telling a good story paid off. The design and rollout for Cyber Week 2021 went completely out of the CLEAR box and lead to the highest increase in CTR YoY to date. Same for Independence Day 2022; the full bleed layouts for tentpole campaigns helped deepen the emotional connections to destinations and being with family, especially in combination with travel ramping back up post COVID restrictions.

However, my main joy came from the internal impact. Ideas for emails began to infom the direction for social, and vice versa. The team was also able to secure a handsomely large budget for Holiday '22, mainly attributed to the in-house efforts and imagination that went into Holiday '21 with no money at all. The company now sees, first-hand, the return from investing into a top-rate Creative team, and we established that design is not just a support function within the business, but a true revenue driver.

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