When you’re rebranding a business there are so many ideas along the way that never see the light of day. Unless of course you create a blog post based entirely around the ones that got away!
I wanted the new-look website to have a more simple and modern look. The original site was not bad but it was quite busy, and I felt that the design detracted from what I wanted the site to say. I also wasn’t convinced that the site gave off the professional image that it deserved. I wanted to completely strip that down and create a lot more space on the page.
As the title of this blog suggests the focus of this article is the logo. The part I was looking forward to the most about the rebranding was redesigning the robot. He’s never had a name (feel free to suggest one!) so for now let’s just call him Red.
Finding the right mascot
The original Red (see below) served me well for four years but I knew he needed a makeover. The elements I liked: the symmetry of the design, the simple quadrilaterals, and his quirky style. The elements I wanted to change: the connecting lines for the arms and the aerial didn’t stand up to a reduction in size for business cards etc…, the embossing effect wasn’t necessary, I didn’t like the yellow shade. Anyway, see for yourself:
The one thing I didn’t want to do was to change Red into something forgettable. I still wanted him to have personality and most importantly he needed to be red (you’d think that was obvious but read on to see what nearly happened!)
As far as the decision process goes, I ditched the connecting thin lines in favour of a suggested connection, and I did away with the thick outline and embossing effect. He was already looking simpler but there was something else I wasn’t happy with – body language. Why was he always raising his hands in the air as though it was 1992?!
Anyway, this is what he became… And I love him more than ever 😀
Getting the font right
Next item on the agenda: font. The previous font was too detailed to cope with resizing and didn’t fit into the idea of simple and contemporary. All I knew was that I wanted a clean serif font. The previous font was a “sort of” script font called Annie BTN. See below:
The first font I tried (in my quest for simplicity) was Arial Rounded. I must admit to being a big fan of Arial (phew, it feels good that it’s finally out there!) so thought that using the rounded variation might help keep everything look integrated. I decided to maintain the two-tone colouring of Red when using the font to keep the contemporary look, but the font choice just wasn’t right:
Eventually I discovered a font that I really liked called Opficio available via Da Font. This is the font that ultimately won through (although in a less condensed form). Next I tried playing around with Red to see if he could fit into a “badge”. I tried keeping his shape but opted to cut him out of a red quadrilateral.
I loved it. I really, really loved it.
But there was one flaw.
The robot wasn’t red. Hmmm….
Did it matter? I swayed back and fore between yes and no for some time before finally (and reluctantly) agreeing with the opinion of friends. Yes. Yes it did matter.
If you’re called Red Robot your robot really should be red. With a heavy heart I retired this idea (but still cling on to using him one day! Anyway, see him for yourself:
Along the way (and I should point out that this was prior to any final decision on Red or font) I played around with the layout of the logo:
But ultimately decided that the text should definitely be placed to the right of Red. Before arriving at the final design I played about with placing Red inside a box. I think this was because I was still clinging onto the not-red Red design. I decided against both but in the spirit of sharing here they are:
And so I came closer to the final design. The question now was this: does the word “red” have to be coloured red?
And the answer I came up with was no. In fact I quite liked the idea that “red” was written in black and that it was “robot” that was red. I suppose I could try and explain the rationale – talk about conformity and expectations – but ultimately it comes down to aesthetics. I preferred the “red” black and the robot red 😀
Finally, I muted the whole logo by toning down the colours. The black elements were easier on the eye and created less contrast with the white background when brought down to a charcoal grey (#363636), and the red became less primary. The final logo is here:
The final logo emerges
So there you go, that’s how the new logo came about. From here it became easier to redesign the whole site. A new logo can be very inspiring (and set the tone) to the look of a new website.
As much as I liked the original Red, this felt like a coming of age and maturing for the little fella – like a robotic Stand By Me if you like.
Now all I had to do was design an entire website around him to make him feel a little more comfortable. But that’s probably another blog post…
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts – please leave your comments below.
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