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Rebranding ComputerMinds - Part 1: Branding

11th Apr 2018

Adam Ferris

Developer

After seeing our logo alongside others in various places it was clear to us that we were starting to look outdated. The work we were doing was getting more and more advanced and our branding did not reflect this. We needed to rebrand.

Our old company logo

We briefly stripped things right back and considered a company name change, as although it did represent what the company did when starting out, it didn’t completely represent what we do now. We quickly concluded that this was too big a change, it was important to keep the name for existing clients and also for the history of the company. This discussion did get me thinking, though, and although we weren’t changing the name, we could look toward representing the name differently. We often referred to the company as ‘CM’ and I was keen to explore using this more prominently.

One thing not so obvious that I wanted to consider was future proofing. Our current logo looked outdated, I wanted to avoid this happening to the new logo a few years down the line. It was important not to choose current styles that could easily date.

Although discussions and research revealed that the squares in our logo didn’t represent anything, we kinda liked them so I was happy to attempt to include them. This would also create a better transition from the old logo, as if I was to consider representing the company without the name fully displayed, including squares would mean it would be recognisable to existing clients.

Next up, we would need a new font, or two. Only one for the logo but I also wanted a second font for body text that could be used throughout the whole brand. Having had concerns from working with clients about the cost of using certain fonts, as these would be used throughout all official documentation these fonts had to be free to use.

What was really important to me when facing the rebrand was colours. I felt the old red was too aggressive and strangely even felt it was an outdated colour. Perhaps it was through looking at it for many years, either way it needed to change. I was very keen to introduce multiple colours that would not just be used in the logo, but spread throughout the website and other places. These colours needed to be softer, happier, current and accessible. I was also very keen to be exact even on somewhat less important colours like greys and blacks.

The last thing I needed to consider before starting was responsiveness. More and more over the years I’ve seen companies creating multiple logos that can be used in differing scenarios based on available space. Having had issues with our wide logo in the past I was keen to create 3 logos for this reason.

So, now I had a clear understanding of what I needed to create and of the deliverables we would have at the end of the process. Here’s a summary list of everything above, which I used as a reference when completing the next phase.

  1. Experiment using CM instead of ComputerMinds in logo.
  2. Future proof as best possible.
  3. Use squares in logo.
  4. Use free fonts; we need a heading and a body font.
  5. Create a palette of soft, happy, current, accessible colours
  6. Create logos for use at different sizes.

Now I could begin. It was important to create SVGs for scalability, so using Adobe Illustrator I started experimenting with squares, fonts and colours before settling on the final look. Rounded corners, 3D effects, crazy concepts were all experimented with but following feedback sessions from other ‘Minds I was happy with what we had.

Wide logo with guides

I created three logos, each for use at different widths of available space and in different scenarios. The smallest did not display the company name as discussed earlier, I was excited to see it in use.

Three different sized CM logos

In addition to the logos, I also chose two free-to-use fonts from Google Fonts and compiled an assortment of colours fitting earlier requirements. Being keen for consistency, I produced a brand guidelines document available to all ‘Minds. This detailed each logo and in which circumstance to use each, all the colours with a sample and both hex and RGB values. Each heading and paragraph font samples and other specific brand guides, leaving no room for confusion and inconsistencies going forward.