Winning the account with Pfizer took persistence and diligence. After all, you don’t just fall into working for one of the most established corporations in the United States. More than a half decade removed, it’s easy to see the fingerprints left behind. Calling on them was one of the boldest “leaps of faith” in my career. Pfizer was founded in 1849. It houses several divisions. They are the makers of brand name medications like Lipitor, Viagara, Lyrica, Celebrex, and a host of other household names. Their offices are several states away in New York. Eh — who’s counting obstacles? Let’s give this a whirl!

I threw a hat into the mix for a small logo project with the human resources department of Pfizer Animal Health (PAH). The division boasted operations in over 60 countries, an extensive r&d network and over 5,000 colleagues (including 700 scientists, veterinarians and other specialists). I was given the lead from an early cold call — a mailing to introduce capabilities. While I pitched for a broader scope of work to be created, I was also clear to say that the niche logo could be a “test project” for a more substantial relationship between the companies. Cutting to the chase, we won the work. The result is the logo below. The colors and curves are distinctly Pfizer and had to play nice within the overall corporate identity. This was not an opportunity to wear the dress with the wide open back, so to speak.

In addition to the logo, a style guide was produced with rules and examples of how to manage the identity with internal colleagues as well as external partners, vendors and others. As part of this guide, a few advertising slicks and a slideshow presentation template were also created.

Behind this work, a suite of materials for “on-boarding” new colleagues was developed. These printed materials addressed more than just the basics of getting acclimated to new confines. One of the items was a guide designed for managers to help deal with the sensitive subject of performance management. As with the logo, these pieces leveraged the existing identity per fonts and colors. One of the departures during this period was the introduction of brighter colors and an earthtone brown to augment the overall palette. This has carried through to today’s Pfizer (see above). In addition to the print work, an intranet website brought together elements of the suite in an on-demand fashion.

The last of the projects were a few targeted pieces for scientists on the r&d frontline, along with the over-reaching Pfizer Animal Health website. My main contact was moving on in her career, and her replacement had her own resources — a common obstacle to long-term relations with large corporate entities. These final efforts were instrumental in Pfizer being recognized with an International Webby Award for “Best Pharmaceutical Website” (2005).