In January 2017, I joined Blueprint as a Design Director. My main project for the semester is to lead a rebrand. Some questions have been raised about why the process was necessary. Since Blueprint’s inception, its logo had only seen minor changes and thus a consistent brand had been built. This post explains why we underwent a rebranding of our logo, and documents our thought process behind each design decision.
Before jumping in redesigning the logo, I first wanted to know what people thought about the logo and what it implied about Blueprint. These insights were to help me identify key problems to tackle and characteristics that should be retained.
We split up our audience into three categories and asked them what came to their mind when they saw the logo, and whether it related to our mission. Their responses were:
"I kind of like it."
Other Berkeley students:
"It looks alright. They build software, right?"
People completely unfamiliar with Blueprint:
“Do you guys volunteer at pet shelters? It doesn’t tell me anything about software and isn’t visually appealing. And why is the paw print there?”
Immediately, we knew that the paw print was misleading and had to be removed or replaced.
We approached the logo rebrand with three main driving ideas in mind:
1. Cleaner design as we wanted to create a more professional feel to appeal to clients and sponsors.
2. Consistency as the bear print (iconic to Berkeley) was misleading and would no longer remain relevant after expansion to different chapters.
3. Retain identity as we didn’t want a complete overhaul of our legacy, and wanted to retain the gear and iconic blue.
I started off by expanding from what we had, and explored concepts similar to a gear to find a cleaner compromise.
As I narrowed down our options, I applied a blue palette and played around with various concepts.
After several rounds of iteration, I narrowed our concepts down to a select few. Of course, with these concepts further questions were raised about more specific details.
In order to remain consistent among chapters, we also collaborated with John (Design Director of the Blueprint Chapter at University of Waterloo) throughout the entire process.
Using the font Poppins, we used uncapitalized text in order to keep the ‘b’ and ‘l’ at consistent heights. We also decided on a semibold font weight to give a friendlier feel, instead of the more ‘corporate’ feel that a lighter weight font might give off. With the font and color variables fixed, we started to consider how our logo would fit next to the font. With our selected concept, we realized the lines on the logo had to be thickened to match the text’s font weight.
In our final considerations, we debated whether to make the weave mono or dual-colored, and whether we should keep the heart in the design. We ended up choosing against the heart to remove clutter, and chose a dual-colored logo to focus on the unique interweaving of the design rather than a shape as a whole, since this might be interpreted as clunky or even as a flower.
And with that, our rebrand was complete!