Designer - May S.
My startup client needed a distinctive logo to launch their business effectively. They aspired for a visually compelling emblem that embodied their core values and resonated with the target audience.
The challenge was to create a custom but versatile logo that fostered trust, ensuring consistency across various platforms.
My task was to craft an impactful and adaptable logo that captured attention and communicated the brand essence.
My solution involved a meticulous design process, integrating the client's vision and extensive market research.
Collaborative feedback loops with the client refined the design, ensuring alignment with their preferences. I also provided a basic but comprehensive brand guideline to empower the client to maintain consistency in their branding efforts.
This holistic approach yielded a versatile and impactful logo, effectively enhancing the company's launch and establishing a strong brand identity in the competitive market landscape.
Platform OnDemand is a managed cloud service provider for early-stage SaaS companies.
They are designed to accelerate initial delivery, and partner with customers as they scale by managing customization to their PaaS instance. Platform OnDemand also provides a turnkey experience of the full PaaS instance and cloud infrastructure when the customer is ready to in-house the cloud hosting capability.
This allows organizations to have a high quality cloud experience from day one, avoids the need to hire cloud specialists until ready, and provides a solid and mature system that can be built upon instead of migrated off of.
Kick-Off Mtg 🤝🏾
At the start of our meeting, we delved into the client's brand exploration journey.
They came equipped with a clear vision: to make computing a frictionless experience, a mission focused on providing the best place to build SaaS products, and a compelling value proposition emphasizing business focus.
I utilized this opportunity to discuss their timelines, budget, and communication preferences, ensuring a solid understanding of their project requirements.
Project Document and Timeline 📜
I structured a project timeline, outlining crucial phases: Competitor Research Analysis, Mood Boarding/Worksheet Review, Logo Sketching & Review, Logo Shape Refining, Color Exploration/Implementation, and Finalizing Design & Style Guide.
It was pivotal to secure client buy-in, ensuring their understanding of each step's significance and the roadmap leading to the final deliverables: a logo, font and color palette.
Competitor Research 👀
In the initial stages of our project, I requested a list of competitors from the client, including websites like InfraCloud, Humanitec, Qovery, and Porter. Conducting a comprehensive audit of their visual identities, I discovered intriguing patterns.
Across the board, brands in this space are targeting developers with a preference for dark mode interfaces. The prevalent use of blue-purple hues resonates across these competitors, exuding both luxury when paired with darker tones and creativity when juxtaposed with lighter shades, creating a cutting-edge vibe.
Type & Shapes
Moreover, sans-serif fonts are a popular choice, enhancing the modern appeal. Notably, a recurring theme emerged – the incorporation of box/package imagery and hexagon elements in logos, creating a strong, cohesive visual identity within the industry.
Brand Strategy Worksheet 📝
During my competitor research phase, I engaged the client in a valuable exercise by having them complete a brand strategy worksheet sourced from Column5.
This resource delved deep into core identity, target audience, verbal identity, brand voice, and a visual identity checklist. My intention behind this activity was to gain a holistic understanding of the client's vision for their brand. It not only provided crucial insights but also proved to be an enjoyable experience for them.
From the worksheet, it became clear that the client aimed to be perceived as simple, reliable, and effective. They desired their customers to feel understood, stable, and refreshed, forming the foundation for our subsequent design decisions.
In my quest for the perfect visual direction, I initiated a moodboarding exercise using FigJam, delving into the realm of possibilities.
Armed with technical terms like "service cloud provider," "software as a service," and "developer experience," along with mood-enhancing phrases such as "simple," "reliable," "effective," and "progressive," I scoured platforms like Dribbble, Behance, Pinterest, and Google for inspiration. After meticulously curating a diverse collection, I presented these options to the client.
Their active involvement was key; I encouraged them to leave comments on elements that stirred strong reactions. This interactive feedback loop became instrumental, guiding me to narrow down the logo's shape and overall vibe in alignment with their envisioned brand identity.
Logo Analysis 🔍
I meticulously organized my notes, drawing valuable insights from the client's recommendations, which encompassed the concept of a bridge and icons of data servers.
With these insights in mind, I delved into extensive research and began sketching various designs in Procreate. These concepts integrated elements like bridges, stacked servers, hexagons, and a flat design approach, emphasizing bold, simple shapes and a two-tone palette.
To maintain focus on the logo's form, I consciously opted for a black and white design strategy at this stage. Afterward, I reviewed my sketches with the client, presenting a range of options. Together, we selected a few designs to move forward with, including the circle with layered stacks, the hexagon, and a bridge with overlapping stacks.
The client expressed particular enthusiasm for these options, setting a clear direction for the next phase of the design process.
Shapes and Colors 🟧
I transitioned my initial sketches into Figma, refining them into polished versions and experimenting with a myriad of shapes, fills, and line weights.
My focus was to curate a selection of distinct shapes for the client to choose from. Following their decision, I infused the chosen design with vibrant colors. Inspired by the Houston Dynamos' brand palette, the logo came to life in hues that resonated with the client.
While experimenting, I explored both flat color designs and subtle gradient variations, always mindful of maintaining the logo's bold simplicity.
Logo Mark + Typography🖋️
As we honed in on the ideal logo mark shape, I meticulously tested its compatibility with various typographic styles.
We began with Inter, but the client expressed a preference for the rounded elegance of Visby CF, appreciating its distinctive curves. With the font chosen, we delved into fine-tuning details, experimenting with different font weights and exploring creative logomark placements within the type itself.
This process was crucial, ensuring seamless integration and harmony between the logo mark and the chosen typography.
The Final Logo!! 🌟
After several rounds of careful feedback and collaboration, we arrived at the final logo design!
My task at this stage was to refine the logo into a clean, scalable vector file, ensuring its seamless adaptation as an SVG image across platforms. I also crafted standard black and white versions of the logo, making them versatile for application on colored backgrounds and marketing materials, including merchandise.
To provide a comprehensive reference for the client, I compiled all essential elements into a detailed brand guideline. This document included the designated font type, the brand color palette, and various logo variations, serving as a cohesive and invaluable resource for their future branding endeavors.
As the project reached its conclusion, I ensured a smooth handover by organizing all essential files. I meticulously compiled both SVG and PNG versions of the logo, storing them in a secure Google Drive folder.
Additionally, I granted the client access to the Figma source file, allowing them to explore and manipulate the design as needed. To provide a quick and accessible reference, I created a detailed PDF version of the brand guideline, outlining the font type, brand color palette, and logo variations.
This comprehensive package ensured the client had everything they needed for seamless integration and consistent brand representation in their future endeavors.
Collaborating with startup founders has always been a passion of mine. Their grand visions paired with humble personalities create a dynamic synergy. I find immense joy in partnering with these visionaries, iterating on their ideas, and ultimately transforming their dreams into tangible, impactful logos.
Despite working across different time zones due to our remote setup, tools like Google Hangouts, Figma comments, and email became our lifelines, ensuring seamless communication throughout the process. These experiences reinforced the importance of adaptability and effective digital collaboration in the modern creative landscape.
Black and white logo treatment first really helped me ensure I was getting focused feedback from the client on shape vs. shape + color.
Sometimes you can get excited about a logo design, spend a lot of time making iterations only for the client to chose something else. & thats okay!
Feedback is key every step of the way. Logo creation is nothing without client buy-in.
📈 Long-Term Vision
Retrospectively, I would have looked for a Figma plugin for grid systems to create symmetrical logos.
I'd love to work with the client on building their website, ensuring proper visual hierarchy and logo application.
I'd want to create an in-depth brand guideline that includes their mission, vision, and brand voice that they can use as persona on social media.