Walking our talk. Letterhead design & cog-shaped business cards
When it came to rebranding The Logo Factory® a few years back, we had to ask a lot of questions. We had used a little house to represent our design company since 1996. The TLF house has a wonderful back story, and while it might have some personal, and emotional attachments, does it really have any relevance for anyone seeing the logo for the first time?
Sadly, the answer to that was no.
At the end of the day, the most important aspect of our logo is the company name itself. After much soul searching, it was ultimately decided that the famous house would have to go. Once we lost the house our own company logo became a very simple, yet effective, text mark. Our logo works in black and white. It’s also scalable to very small sizes. Both of which are benchmarks of a serviceable design, in the usability department anyways.
We also added the new text version to a graphic cog element. Developed in early staged of the logo design process, this concept always worked. It’s industrial, thematically sound with The Factory motif and painfully simple to boot (read a case for simple logos for more on this).
That settled it. The Logo Factory cog logo became our new brand ‘spark plug.’ The cog when it it’s applicable. We’ll use the text only version when it isn’t. That’s the logo in the top left corner of the page in case you’re interested. Once we had our standard logo nailed down, we decided to play with the image a bit. At the studio, our designers have always been a fan of visual ‘eye candy’ so we decided to turn our new artwork into a 3D beauty shot. Like so.
Like what you see? Keep in mind that creating 3D logos like this is no small task and not to be approached lightly. High resolution render time on our cog logo was about 28 minutes, so never attempt a 3D rendering of a logo unless you’re willing to spend an awful amount of time getting it just right. As with any logo that’s in a bitmap format, we can only use this logo sparingly, and where reproduction permits. Presentation folders. Brochures. Perhaps on our new letterheads. As we’re going bleed on the design, we have to use a larger press anyway – might as well go full color, a necessity for a graphic of this type. In order to keep the layout nice and clean, we kept the type simple and avoided any visual flourishes save the gears on the bottom of the page. Those will make sense when we think about our simple second page layout.
In order to maintain consistency in the font department, we substituted Myriad Pro Condensed as our support font, replacing Frutiger Condensed, a typeface that that was the official font at The Logo Factory for almost fifteen years. The letterhead second page design is simple. A full version of the logo and simple gears at the gears bottom.
Rather than go with a traditional business card design, we decided to go with an over-sized display card complete with die cut gear teeth. Our business cards are certainly different. The cog ‘teeth’ will allow us to tuck the cards into the usual spots – presentation folders for example – but the size had to be small enough to fit into a standard envelope.
As most of our clients are remote, printing a set of cards for each of our designers, plus administrative staff and management doesn’t make any sense. We don’t give enough of them away. Accordingly we decided not to personalize the cards at press time, but leave a blank spot where staff can write in names, appointments, etc. This has the added bonus of giving the business cards a personal touch, while saving on printing costs and ordering logistics for multiple versions of pre-personalized cards.
All in all, a nice little stationery design project, even if it was for our own company. But it does prove one thing. When it comes to logo design, branding and marketing, we walk our talk.