Stereotype: the hardest client you have to design for is yourself.
Truism: sometimes stereotypes exist because they’re true.
Case study: our dynamic brand – truly responsive design
When we set ourselves to create a new brand for Prefer it was, like all self-focused creative projects, a daunting task. We are always our worst clients at the start — demanding, opinionated, self-righteous, ego-driven and uncompromising. Cue some long heart-to-hearts and exhilarating brainstorming, meetings of the mind and surgical insight into what makes us who we are. And then… we finally get past the daunting elements and start getting excited about making the ideas we have into something unique.
This is how we eventually arrived at the idea of creating a logo that embodies the very nature of our work, our industry, our spirit. But not one that will only capture that notion for the moment when it’s designed. One that can reflect us and the forces that shape us at any given moment — a responsive and dynamic logo.
Working with our core principles (invent, adapt, challenge, create, and inspire) as the focal point, we focussed on how to showcase the way those five principles influence us in what we do every day. The answer was in designing a logo that could visually adapt to reflect those ideas as often as possible.
Expertise and execution
Although so-called dynamic logos have been created before, we couldn’t find examples which were truly responsive — adaptive to physical, digital as well as virtual reality environments, based on data that could be updated on the fly, fed by individual team-members, clients and projects. Our logo needed to reflect not just what we do, but also hold a mirror to what we’re like as a team, what our clients think, and who we are as individuals. And on top of that we wanted it to be strong enough to stand tall in every environment, 2D or 3D, virtual or physical. So it was important to us that the solution be meaningful, beautiful and nuanced enough to never be the same.
Working in a creative digital industry, a dynamic brand not only made perfect sense for us, we started to wonder why it wasn’t the standard for any digital agency. Simply put, it seemed irresponsible not to do it.
If you want to create a dynamic brand (or anything dynamic), it’s useful to have code wranglers handy. It was lucky, then, to have seasoned design brains and whip-smart development specialists in the same workspace. Once our designers came up with the rough concept for the logo, we turned to development and the logistics of execution. The solution had to be sensible and truly responsive. Of course we needed to know how we could integrate it on the website. But also how would we access it for use on printed or static materials when needed? How would the data be sent to the logo itself? How does the dynamic brand work across any kind of collateral? Exactly how many digital boundaries could we push? Designers really know how to frustrate developers. Fortunately, the opposite is also true.
A collaborative and evolving snapshot
Happily, the brand didn’t end up as a ‘compromise’ to appease both design and development. We consider ourselves lucky to have teams which genuinely enjoy the challenges and vision of each other’s strengths. A very open exchange of problem solving, ideas and solutions was essential to bring out our best contributions. So while design created bespoke typography for the logotype, development explored ideas for backend management and interactivity. While design pondered the full range of 2D and 3D applications, development tested 3D executions for viability and high resolution output solutions. We’ve run it through intense scrutiny and several levels of testing and are pretty chuffed with the outcome.
And we’re still collaborating, exploring, finding ways to that our dynamic brand can grow with us. Soon you’ll be able to influence the logo yourself. So watch this space.