I was hired as the first in-house designer for the company. Previously, the company hired outside staffing websites like 99designs for the logo, app work, and any marketing collateral work. Within two weeks, I recognized the need for a comprehensive rebrand.
Information Gathering and Research:It was important for me to work collaboratively with everyone in the company (20 or so at the time) while working on this logo. Our company still viewed itself as a start-up, and that start-up culture bred strong feelings of ownership.
I worked closely with a team that included the CFO, CTO, and Director of Product to create a strong research and information-gathering plan. We set up small internal case study groups (4-5), covering the entire workforce, to better understand our culture, how we view our work, and how we wanted to be perceived by current and potential customers.
A marketing director was added to the team soon after, leading the group to distill this wealth of information and narrow it down to core characteristics. With a general unwillingness to create a mission statement, and a lack of major company direction, these were the four core characteristics we identified [list four characteristics].
Design Process:I started with word-mapping, breaking down the characteristics that we identified. I then started to surveythe competition to better understand any potential industry norms and chances for standing out.
Then came the sketching and narrowing down to multiple options.
I presented three options to the company as a whole, which was then followed up by outreach to a few customers that we have strong relationships with. After taking in all of that feedback, the modular brand was chosen.
The Logo:The modular brand leans on a modular logo: meaning, a dynamic logo that keeps a general form, but has some components that can be change to focus visual interest and keep things new and exciting.
This was the logo that I had been pushing for, as I felt that it was the strongest of the group. The strong, bold wordmark spoke to the characteristic of trust. The highlighting (including some basic highlighter-like colors) allowed us to tell the story of how our company finds and brings specific information to your attention, only when you needed it. The ever-changing dynamic logo highlights the innovative, flexible nature of the company.
The Brand:The modular logo system is strengthened by the brand surrounding it. The visual interest and flexibility afforded by the logo helps to make marketing pieces unique and fresh. The bold colors, strong lines, and clean nature of the brand reinforce the ideas found within the logo.
What I learned:Feedback is important -- but distilling, categorizing, and drilling into that feedback is far more important. Gathering feedback from current clients, team members, and even team member family members (yep!) offers varying, conflicting perspectives.
Don't be afraid to be innovative. A modular logo and brand isn't always the right call, isn't common for B2B companies, and isn't easy. That being said, it felt like this was the right brand to speak to the qualities that we are all passionate about. It was worth the many meetings and tough discussions that were necessary to make it happen.