New year, new start and we’re pleased to start this new year with a big rebrand. Having worked hard on this for the past few months, we thought we’d share our process with you, from creating initial ideas and concepts, to the final, finished and polished design.
Starting the rebrand and understanding the brief
To start, lets go back to October when we first hired Tom, our new Lead Designer and went through our rather challenging brief with him:
“My first project was pretty huge – to rebrand the company. This was an amazing first task, one that I was extremely nervous, excited and honoured to be undertaking”
As you may (or may not) know, we were always known as Something Interesting, a name which had served the company well for the 11 years of its existence. However, over those years a lot happened and we felt that we had outgrown our name and our branding. It was too vague and just didn’t reflect the company or the team today.
Not only did our new logo have to get across all those points, but of course it still needed to function as a proper logo; we wanted scalability and something which looked just as good in monochrome, as it did in full colour.
The old logo
So we knew the basics: who we were, what we stood for and what direction we wanted the new brand to take. We have strong values and ethics, living by four simple words which we believe reflect us in every way: technical, passionate, fun and proud. Next we just needed to figure out how best to get that all across.
We wanted a shorter name and having been called ‘Something Interesting’ for so long, our clients (and ourselves actually) had taken to fondly just calling us ‘Si’. However using this in a relevant way presented quite a big challenge – what do, (or what can you do) with just two letters? We all had the idea of using the strap line ‘digital chemistry’, which tied in with how we saw ourselves – digital chemists, creating and inventing amazing things in our lab. Tom used this as the basis for his inspiration and initial ideas.
Thinking, researching and typefaces
This was no easy task, but one we feel Tom excelled in. “I found myself constantly thinking about the angle I wanted to take for ‘Si’ and how I could relate it all to ‘digital chemistry’ and then it hit me. ‘Si’ was a chemical symbol, short for Silicon.”
This couldn’t have been more apt and suddenly we had two good possibilities for our new logo; one being chemistry focused and the second being themed around sand. As we’re a seaside company and sand is one of the elements from Silicon, we felt both routes strongly related to us.
Once these ideas were in place, the next stage for Tom was to research potential typefaces for both ‘Si’ and ‘digital chemistry’. This took initial priority over logo sketches as Tom wanted to work out how best to present ‘Si’. He decided to use a capital ‘S’ and a lowercase ‘i’, reflecting not only its appearance in the periodic table, but also their more personal qualities.
“I didn’t want to use a serif typeface as they were slightly too traditional for what I wanted. I had my heart set on a friendly sans-serif, which had some personal, handcrafted qualities and a nice circular dot above the ‘i’.”
After testing typeface after typeface, using it in as many contexts as possible, we chose Ideal Sans. It had everything we were looking for, the ‘S’ was curvaceous and the ‘i’ had a circular dot. It also had some handcrafted qualities and wasn’t as uniformed or geometric as some sans-serifs can be, getting across that friendly feel perfectly.
Sketching and developing ideas
So we had the name, strap line and typeface. Now was the time to start sketching logo ideas and see how it all came together. This is often the place where you really refine what you’re after and get all the elements you’re not looking for out the way with, picking those that are left for further development.
Tom started sketching his chemistry and sand inspired ideas, creating various types of beakers, flasks, buckets and sand castles, as you can see in the sketches below.
After this, the next step was to work up the ideas on screen – a nice progressional process, starting with a few ideas and letting them evolve across the page naturally.
Iterate, iterate, iterate
Once Tom had developed his ideas, we all sat down as a team and discussed our options, each selecting a logo we preferred most and creating a selection from there. The consensus was to follow the more science inspired route using the flask symbol. This really resonated with us, as it was something which we felt represented us as individuals, as a team and the direction we wanted ‘Si’ to go. Initially, we selected a slightly complicated version of the logo, which was contained within a rectangle and incorporated the company name, strap line and symbol.
After working the logo up a little more, we decided the logo was trying to do too much and being contained in a box was restricting it too much. One thing that was vital for further development though, was that ‘Si’ was accompanied by something which would help someone, not connected to us, identify what we do. Being that we’re predominately digital, we saw this as the key word to our identity and began incorporating it with ‘Si’ and the chosen logo symbol.
Colour and refinement
We had a monochrome version that we were all happy with, so the next stage was to work it up in a colour version that we all liked just as much. Looking at colour palettes, we wanted to use colours which we felt best reflected us, related to our science theme and were vibrant, but which also complimented our new clean and simple style. Tom experimented with a number of variations, but our favourite was the magenta by far. It was vibrant, fun and edgy, but was kept well grounded by the more sophisticated grey and subtle blue that we’d also chosen.
Having picked a colour palette, Tom worked up the logo in colour and started translating it across our brand guidelines.
The logo outcome
We’re so pleased with the completed Si digital brand. The logo works really well in its complete form, but also in monochrome or, in some cases when needed, as just the symbol, translating fantastically across all forms of media, such as online, social media and any printed materials.
This was a huge project for us to undertake, but one which really allowed us to focus on what we’re all about, what we want to get across and how we apply that to all our projects.
Having a brand that we’re all so proud of really inspires us to continue growing and pushing Si digital. We wouldn’t want to kick off 2013 in any other way, so we hope you enjoy the new Si digital as much as we did creating it. If you would like to use the logo in any way, you can see how to do so here on our media page.