As is true with any profession, hobby or preoccupation, the more you practice, the better you perform. This is very true in the design profession. Designers’ skills are sharpened as we practice our craft over the years. As one’s career stretches forward, he or she has increasingly more opportunities to look back at old work with a critical eye. Some of it is remembered with pride, while other projects make us think, ‘yeah, it works, but I sure would like another shot at it today.’ Once in awhile, we actually get that chance.
Such is my story with Collier Financial. I designed their first logo back in 2006. It was a fast side project while working my full time job at Indiana Tech. The scope of the project was narrow, the timeline was fast and the parameters for the work were fairly loose.
The 2006 iteration of the Collier Financial served its purpose well. The company needed a fresh brand — nothing too stodgy. It needed to speak to a wide range of audiences. It had to feel established and have some heritage, but it also needed a touch of modernity.
The solution was to use the elegant letterforms of Garamond Premier Pro to typeset the logo and add a green leaf element over the “f.” Garamond is a classic, timeless typeface that speaks to a wide audience, yet it definitely skews toward the traditional mindset. The green leaves add the touch of freshness and offer a nice hint toward the process of “growing and cultivating” one’s financial security over time.
Fast forward almost 8 years. The Collier’s business has grown exponentially. They are about to move into a new building and, with that move, invest in tons of new signage, stationery, and other sales collateral in line with the new site. They also are creating a presence on Facebook and other social media platforms.
With all this change happening, the old logo from 2006 now had a lot of weight to pull. Logically, it was time to audit the old logo’s effectiveness.
The old logo’s usage was fairly straightforward: business cards, letterhead, and the masthead of a website, with few other expansions. IT handled these simple tasks well enough, but play it in some of the newer applications and some weaknesses became apparent.
Thin letterforms could be difficult to read in some settings. The thin letterforms were also difficult to replicate in signage. There was no stacked version of the logo, only hormonal. This made it difficult to place the logo within any square crop area. If you tried to stack the word “collier” on top of “financial” the leaves go in the way. The “cf” icon was imbalanced and felt awkward inside of a circle or square shape.
In short: it’s hard to make a sign or a social media avatar out of the logo.
The collier financial logo is just building equity, so scrapping it entirely would have been a mistake. Based on the above analysis, though, it’s clear that a refresh was in order.
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