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New Work: LiquidX

LiquidX Business Cards

LiquidX Business Cards

Our new fintech client, LiquidX, Inc., kept us very busy through December and January. Before the holidays hit, we switched to high gear in order to pull together a logo and corporate identity — delivering business cards to the client in two weeks. While this is never our favorite way to work, they were great decision-makers, and the process went very smoothly. I’m tickled by how the logo turned out.

LiquidX Website

LiquidX Website

We moved on to designing their website in January, completing the launch on February 8. Many thanks to our wonderful web development partners at Shero Designs on their professionalism in our tight turnaround. They were able to figure out a tricky home page slider that utilizes video with layered text and still images.

Check it out at www.lqxinc.com.

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Inspiration: 10 Great Business Card Ideas

Aren’t you so bored of your 3.5″ x 2″ 4-color business card? Well, let’s push it out of the rectangle! Print doesn’t get much attention in these days of the Interwebs and Facebooks, but there are a few places where putting the effort into something really unique is worth it. Especially if you actually hand your business card to another person, making it remarkable will make you memorable. Here are some inspiring examples. See more on the original post »

1. Make-up Artist

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Advertising Agency: OpusMúltipla, Curitiba, Brazil

2. Framing Company

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Advertising Agency: Piko, Moldova

3. Fitness Trainer

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Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

4. Sommelier

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Caserne

5. Bike Technician

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Rethink Canada

6. Dentist

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7. Smoke Shop

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Advertising Agency: Bos, Toronto, Canada

8. Investment Representative

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Advertising Agency: Rethink Canada

9. Yoga Center

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10. Divorce Attorney

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via Bored Panda

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Step 3: Translating Brand into Visual Identity

Here we are at the point where the rubber hits the road in the brand development process. We’ve learned all about your company and described your brand in detail. This is the arty part: creating an identity that reflects all the chatter.

Between the core values and the personality we’ve defined for your brand, we usually have an idea of the general direction the creative needs to go. In the case of Green Jay below, we knew we wanted to do something very specific — utilize a bird, which reflected the company name as well as the concept of “ecological landscaping” from the brand frame. We offered one option that diverged from this idea, if only to show that our concept was the right direction. And we wanted to use green to reflect the sustainability value of the company. Anything else felt “off-brand.” In the case below, we nailed the logo on the first round and were able to complete the identity design very quickly.

Example of Logo Development

First Round of Logo Concepts for Green Jay Landscaping

How does the design process work? I usually start by writing down keywords that must be incorporated into the design. They will reflect the brand frame, of course, but go a little beyond so they are more aspirational. I will also do some visual research at this point, to get inspiration from images across the Internet (see our post about Niice.com). And then I play around with the typography and experiment with color until it just feels right. Next come sketches of the logo, combined with some vector work in Illustrator until the logo options feel real enough to present to the client. We shoot to present three to five initial logo design options. Sometimes there are more if they are coming very easily. We never want to overwhelm, but we do like to share a variety of looks for our client to react to.

From here, the client chooses one direction. We’ll iterate on that a few times until the logo is finalized. Then it’s time to move on to designing the stationery and marketing collateral. Easy!

See all the posts in this Brand Series »

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Fun Friday: Coca-Cola’s “Social Media Guard”

Hahaha, I’m still chuckling. We’re so busted! But beyond the funny fake ad, I think this is a great piece of branding by Coke. You get the payoff at the end: “Share a real moment with Coca-Cola.” A low-budget video that goes viral. Kind of. What can you do that’s even better than this?

Social Media Guard

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Design Trends: Simplify the Logo

2012 and 2013 brought stripped down logos to the design world. You might recognize this in some of the corporate logo redesigns that have been released recently. But is this a good thing for the world of design?

You might remember that the original Google logo had a bevel and a drop shadow. Both have been stripped out now, leaving us undistracted from its signature typeface and bright color range. To me, this is an improvement, reflecting the original advantage Google had over other search engines: a simple interface and web search functionality. Thumbs up!

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New Google logo

The Windows logo recently got an update from Pentagram, evolving from black text paired with a wavy 4-color flag, to a flat 4-color flag, to now a one-color blue logo with the flag in perspective. To me, this most recent version dulls the brand — with the bright colors, I had hope that using Windows would brighten my day. Now I feel dread that I might have to use Microsoft products all day at work. Thumbs down.

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New Windows logo

The original WeightWatchers logo was definitely due for an update. This was a complete redesign: the logo mark was dropped; new color; all lowercase approach to the typography. I assume the gradient approach was to convey losing weight…or fading away to a shell of oneself? In any case, you can’t get much simpler than a grey color, and lowercase sans serif typography. I’m on the fence about this one, with slightly negative feelings.

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New WeightWatchers logo

New logo FAILs!

The Gap released a new logo in 2010 that was completely rejected by the public at large via Twitter and social media. They restored the old logo within a week. This might be an example of stripping down a bit too much…it doesn’t feel sophisticated whatsoever, especially bad for a much-beloved 40 year old brand. It does remind me of a couple of logo projects I did in design school…ouch! They are still using the reversed GAP text in the blue square.

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Failed Gap logo

In my opinion, the UAL (University of the Arts London) logo suffers the same problem as the Gap logo. It looks like someone in the administration office proudly did some designing in PowerPoint. Too bad for such a prestigious institution. To me, this is a very disappointing Pentagram design. Lesson learned: maybe stay away from the too-familiar-yet-beloved Helvetica for the typeface? You can see it’s the same as the Gap logo above.

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New UAL logo

The University of California recently overhauled its logo as well. This logo was also completely rejected by the public, which I think is too bad — it’s a nice piece of identity design and could have gone a long way to unite the disparate UC system. But alas, a petition was roused by Change.org to drop the logo and the university eventually withdrew it. More like Change.not. Oh well!

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Failed UC logo

So…to simplify or not? Personally, I prefer a simple logo. The goal is for the logo to be useful and memorable. It’s easier to maintain brand standards with a simple logo, and it’s easier to use for various purposes. But simple still needs to feel professional, and the logo should always reflect the goals, history, and brand of the company or organization. That’s what we prioritize.

See samples of our logo work here »

Via Creative Bloq

 

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