Creating the Designer Fund Visual Identity
A logo alone cannot communicate all these values, but we knew if we could capture one or two of the important ones we would have a mark that would resonate with the community. The first few months involved a lot of sketching and ideating. We worked with Matt Stevens, a talented designer out of North Carolina, to visualize many of the concepts we had in our sketchbooks and to produce a few new ideas. He also really helped us think through tone/voice by producing various mood boards. Though many concepts came close, none of the marks quite nailed it and we decided to push further.
Andrew Kim set out to rebrand Microsoft as a company of the future in just 3 days. This was an experiment called “The Next Microsoft”. He came up with a new font for “microsoft” as well as an icon called “slate”.
In Kim’s experiment he does leave out the application for Xbox, Microsoft’s entertainment empire, which with the slate design would fit perfect in creating the “X”. We are in favor of the slate as it creates this icon for Microsoft that can be applied across their various products. The Windows icon is more recognizable than Microsoft’s “M” in a square. With the slate, Microsoft would be branded across on products in a clever, but logical way.
Here are the highlights of this experiment:
I decided that Microsoft needs to be a brand that represents the future. Be slightly aggressive unlike Apple and Google’s friendly marketing. Promise to deliver the future today. Be almost science fiction.
The Windows brand is legendary but does not represent a progressive image. It feels outdated and has connotations that aren’t helping Windows Phone and Surface.
The new logo for 2012 (perspective four paneled window) is radical but does not shed the past. The window in perspective is also visually uncomfortable when applied on products.
Microsoft is showing a progressive vision that was missing in the company for years. This is however tainted by a branding effort that simply does not inspire people.
The next Microsoft is build around a belief and passion for the future. Innovation and progress is engraved into the culture and expressed to the public in a bold and mysterious fashion.
Many are taking their much needed vacation time. Many are spending times with their friends and family. Everyone is creating new or reliving prior experiences.
Summer is a time where we reflect. It’s a time for those who design websites to look at the prior six months, reflect, and see how the next 6 months could change.
Why during the summer? Great question, because it seems as though most major redesigns take place during the summer.
Campaign Monitor not only introduced a new design for their website; they rethought their branding. While Buzz, their designer, doesn’t go into immense detail for the changes made he does explain the main points:
- We’re a small and friendly team of passionate designers and developers making something we truly believe in – so it was about time our brand image reflected our personality!
- [Anthony Lane] managed to take influence from our original logo (Gotham), and was able to throw in some softer, rounded elements to make it much friendlier. The beauty of the final product is that it scales to almost any size, and still maintains it’s unique character.
- What we ended up choosing and developing was an icon that could scale beautifully, was simple enough to have fun with, but also didn’t try and say too much.
- But overall, the brand - along with the new website - represents the friendly and human side of Campaign Monitor… and is something that I look forward to developing over time.
When you hear “campaign monitor” most are unaware about the people and talent inside this brand. Many are aware by just hearing that name as them being a corporation offering a service that could be compared to that of a company like Constant Contact rather than one closer to MailChimp.
Difference lies in personality and emotion. The rebranding of Campaign Monitor answered the residing questions.
Where the new wordmark gets a facelift, the icon gets a complete makeover. The new wordmark is nice, but let’s focus on the icon.
We admire icons for their strong internal back story that continues to evolve and the power they hold in displaying your brand in the right light of a crowded world. And Buzz made a good move with Campaign Monitor’s new icon.
A challenge would be to forgo the wordmark from the 1st place platform of focus for their brand to 2nd place.
An icon deserves to make its way to that 1st place spot. Timing is everything, but so is the willingness. Campaign Monitor should play around and push their icon on their newly designed website. It looks great if you follow them on Twitter.
“Messing with the Twitter brand.”
During Apple’s recent WWDC keynote they presented a sharing feature in their new OS that included a modified Twitter logo.
Not that long ago, June 6th to be exact, Twitter announced a subtle but major change to their branding. This change not only modified how the bird was designed but it focused on establishing strict guidelines that excluded the “Twitter” name as well as any past version of the bird and the “t”.
In Apple’s presentation they chose to not obey by these guidelines and accompanied the new Twitter bird with a nice sans serif font spelling out “Twitter”.
From these actions, Apple must’ve believe that many would not understand what the bird resembled.
Graham Smith has this to say:
In Apple’s case, and for the purposes of driving home a certain application sharing feature, they “presumably” felt the Twitter bird wasn’t/isn’t clear/strong enough to stand on it’s own especially when in a list of other brands with full brand names? I would have agreed with this until I Photoshopped the Twitter name out.
Smith is right. Even though the Twitter service has only been around for half a decade they’ve managed to establish an icon that doesn’t need any text. You almost get this feeling that Apple doesn’t believe this can happen, but in reality when Apple released their updated multi-colored logo in 1977 by Rob Janoff they could have easily dropped the “apple” text.
Armin at Brand New had this to say about Twitter’s move:
For the most part, all the news sources reporting on the revised bird have focused on its visual update, which I will get to soon, but the real story here is that Twitter has dropped its name from the logo. If you look at the opening image of this post, the change is quite drastic. And ballsy. Twitter has achieved in less than six years what Nike, Apple, and Target took decades to do: To be recognizable without a name, just an icon. If you go to Twitter’s home page, welcoming you at the top is the new bird, and nothing more. Gone is the bubbly, lowercase “twitter” wordmark and the “t” icon — both terribly annoying designs. Regardless of the changes to the bird, this is a very significant evolution of the Twitter brand.
Twitter did choose to be integrated with Apple’s iOS and maybe part of this partnership doesn’t give Apple the same guidelines and responsibilities as the rest of us have.
In a few words: Twitter made the right move, others should follow, and Apple will just be Apple.
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