- Category: Branding
- Responsibilities: Branding
- Tools: Illustrator
Towards the end of the work on a large software product, we got permission to work on the name and branding. From the go the system was designed to be a breath of fresh air in the competitive marketplace. It used modern technology and design to compete against the major players, created as a proper web application against the hordes of Windows 2000 style programs most clients used. We wanted the branding to reflect this.
Most of the other systems were not well branded. They competed on features or price, not user experience or quality. After an initial round of sketches and notes, taken from research and discussion with stakeholders, I put together a range of early drafts so we could capture a direction.
Some were a bit generic, others showed promise. I was particularly keen on Helium, with the tagline ‘a lighter way to manage property’. It seemed to sum us up pretty well, but someone pointed out it sounded a bit like the Malteasers slogan. Kinetic looked pretty decent on the page, but was a bit simplistic. Overall we wanted to achieve something rather more interesting and dynamic.
I had some more ideas with a few new names. We wanted to keep it fairly casual and quirky, with a professional feeling. It had to tell people that the product we had was a fresh approach, not like the dusty competition. Helium was working well, but the rising and falling letters didn’t make it very easy to read. The rising dot of the i was clever, but I wondered if it was too subtle.
Cognition certainly had legs. A little cold maybe, but it was easy to read and wasn’t too shouty. It felt professional and trustworthy too.
This round featured some more refinement and some new ideas. I had another shot at Wavelength and Kinetic because I liked the names, but they didn’t come out right. Whilst the names and the logo were reasonably cool, they didn’t say enough.
I also added Casa in, which I felt was a decent stab. It had the right look – casual but professional, but I wondered about the name. Did it conjure up names of holiday lettings?
We had received good feedback on the name Helium, but the logo wasn’t quite good enough. I decided to change tack and try and better visualise the concept – communicating that the software would raise you above the competition and give you a great overview of your property. I also had a go using a different name (Ascend). Casa was disregarded as too casual – the word didn’t match the styling or icon.
I added a new concept here – District. This idea started with the sketch of a Bauhaus style D, which I put together in Illustrator. Creating a delaunay tessellation produced a great background for the D, and masking it off made it really stand out. It was a decent symbol; totally unlike anything in the marketplace. I was asked to put forward a design based on the name ‘Prospect’, but it was a bit stuffy and it didn’t really communicate the correct message.
In the presentation, everyone was agreed that District was the best logo. They really liked the D and especially how different it was to the competition. They weren’t so keen on the name, but the liked the tesselation in the D and how it represented the different areas a property agent might have to deal with both in the real world and in their business.
Unfortunately the logo didn’t adapt well to a suite of designs, and that problem combined with being asked to produce a new brand for the company as a whole led to a new project – this one.