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September 28, 2017 by

Last year we were approached to work on a startup company’s brand strategy and packaging design. The client had a logo that they had designed themselves – as most startups do, as they usually struggle to distribute their investment amongst product development, production and marketing. The idea behind the logo was a simple, yet good one, however, we thought there was a great opportunity to improve it’s execution to add value to the brand. We presented a Visual Identity audit and made a few recommendations to the client in one of our first workshops where we talked about a few refinements we could apply to the existing symbol and wordmark.

The client’s product is a soft BPA-free silicone, childrens feeding aid, shaped as a cube that “harnesses kids’ instincts to develop a healthy relationship with food from the start – by encouraging self-feeding (1)”. The product is also dishwasher safe, oven proof and freezable.

The areas of improvement for the logo that we identified were: professional re-drawing, accurate depiction of the shape of a box, symbol ‘tidying up’, definition and alignment of symbol colours to the brand’s look/feel and corporate colour palette, possible shape adjustments to eliminate obvious visual representations of product, creation of solid logo versions for mono applications and reversing, and most importantly the exploration of a possible graphic evolution of the symbol.

We stressed that the re-design would result in a more solid, professionally designed and adjusted symbol that could be used on its own or specific applications. It would express the appropriate personality and positioning of the company.

Original logo designed by the client

Original logo designed by the client

We talked about areas of improvement on the existing logo’s wordmark. These included Typographic exploration/re-drawing to correct letterform issues for a professional look, optical adjustments of letterforms’ weight and kerning, careful typographic exploration for a possible typeface upgrade, exploration of proportional relation between symbol and wordmark.

The improvements would be finished with the creation of different logo formats, rules around the use of the logo elements and the creation of reproduction files and visual identity guidelines.

An important aspect of the re-design that was an eye-opener for the client was explaining how the existing logo would present problems if it was applied to the product debossed as part of the mould.

branded product

Image shown to client explaining a product logo application that requires a well-executed logo.

Example of difference between a symbol, a wordmark and a logo

Image used to explain the client the difference between a symbol and a wordmark and how in some cases the two of them together can form a logo.

The client was convinced and we started working on the logo re-design. The existing symbol was a pictorial one, it was a literal representation of the product and food (specifically a carrot). As previously agreed, we decided to evolve and simplify the original idea rather than starting from scratch. Also, having worked on the company’s brand strategy, these influenced the design, offering valuable input to the process. The primary colour palette was also defined.

A few examples of sketching and graphic progression of the symbol

For the wordmark we started with the font exploration, where we used high quality, professionally designed typefaces. We applied visual adjustments to letterforms for a better representation of the company’s personality, adjusted kerning and integrated the trademark symbol.

Shortlisted typefaces after exploring hundreds of options.

Shortlisted typefaces after exploring hundreds of options.

The result is the simplification of the original idea, where the product and the food merge into one simple, recognizable shape that technically speaking could easily be reproduced in various scales and in a range of media (emboss, deboss, reverse, reduction, etc).

1. Product description from client’s website