Ideally, your company’s branding is based on your business concept, business model(s), and a well-considered business plan, from which your marketing plan is derived. While WenMark often performs all of these services for a company, we also offer our branding services separately.
WenMark’s branding services include company naming; logo creation and development; slogan creation; song creation and development; and a variety of services that help you carry your branding into the world through print, direct mail, packaging, promotional materials, educational materials, mass media, and online media.
WenMark uses a tried-and-true process for logo creation and development that begins with an initial consultation. This conversation may be held in person or by telephone. We will ask you about your business concept, what your current products and services are, who your target buying groups are, and in what directions (and countries) you might desire that your business move or grow in the future. We will, if applicable, also review the various types of branding you have used in the past. Finally, so that we are conceptually and visually “on the same page,” we will ask you for three key concepts that describe what you want prospective buyers and existing customers to think and feel about your company when they observe your branding (e.g., reliable, cutting-edge, established, creative, etc.).
Using this foundation, we will create five different directions, or approaches, to branding. If you are simply looking for branding modernization, we will prepare five approaches to updating.
If you desire to make a font your main branding component, then we will present you with five different font directions you can take. If no existing font completely meets your needs, then we will modify an existing font for use in your logo. We can create a font for you from scratch, although that option is not available under the price-fixed Logo Creation and Development Package.
Based on the feedback we receive about what you like about each of the five directions—along with your indication of your two favorite directions, we will develop your ideas visually, giving you five variations on each of the two principal ideas you have chosen.
We will then discuss what will be a total of 12 images (the two ideas you chose, plus five development directions for each of the two directions) with you, and you will choose one image you wish to have tweaked. The tweaking process involves your input and final choices. You may, for example, want us to alter such components as one of your colors or a shade of color, a line thickness, an object’s fill, the degree of shading, the direction from which the object is visually “lit,” an angle, or any of a host of other details.
Since any potential branding we present to you is a direction we consider sound, we feel that you can only make good choices; so we are fine with most tweaking suggestions. After all, we want you to feel comfortable with, and proud of, your company and its branding. We see our job as aligning ourselves with your vision and then bringing our expertise to the expression and manifestation of that vision.
The final step of logo development (for image logos) is selection and placement of a font. We typically delve into our library of over 60,000 fonts, choosing those fonts that reinforce your three operant concepts, while being easy to read. We typically present several fonts with the final tweaking of the image, at the same time showing you the font placement options (relative to the image) that we feel will best serve your company.
If you have chosen a price-fixed logo creation and development package, you may request up to two rounds of tweaking. If we have an agreement with your company that includes an hourly rate for professional services, then there is no limit to the number of tweaks you may request. Regardless of the arrangement, we will tell you if, at any time, you are proposing a visual representation or component that we feel is not in your company’s best interests.
Below are some recent examples of WenMark Logo Creation and Development.
Examples of 5 - 2 - 1 Logo Creation and Development Program
In this instance, the client had developed a process for helping people to increase the level of satisfaction in their life. That process involves nine resources that enable people to reach goals (the tenth concept of the process) that they believe will have positive life impact.
Conversation with the client yielded an understanding that the Life Functioning process considers three resources at a time. Also, we learned that the client resonates with the number 3. Additional input suggested that the client’s services will enable people to enhance five areas of their lives, namely truth, peace, harmony, beauty, and sustainability. From these five “pillars” came a palette of five colors, and we added a sixth color for differentiation, outlining, etc. The addition of the sixth color also kept the design aesthetic focused on multiples of the number three. The client had a personal color chart that had been synthesized for her sometime in the past, so we extracted six colors from the chart that worked together, reflected the five pillars, and would convey the feelings of “life,” “joy,” and “creativity” the client wants current and prospective customers to glean when reviewing her company’s materials.
Our object in the first round of design was to show the client a wide variety of design directions that could reflect the client’s services and the benefit for the company’s customers.
The client initially liked all five directions. Understanding that an image that was strictly visual would be accompanied by the name of the company, the client chose to concentrate on Image 3 (the pyramid), which she felt conveyed a strong base of operations, and—ironically—Image 5 (the pinwheel), which she said felt carefree and spontaneous and gave her a sense of movement. She felt that movement was good symbolism for the concept of change. We explained to the client that conveying both a strong base and movement/spontaneity could require some compromise because the two concepts are often visually contradictory. Since the client also liked the concept of the chevron conveyed in Image 1, we suggested that incorporating that feeling into the images she had chosen might help to strengthen the more spontaneous pinwheel concept and add some dimension to the more staid pyramid. The client concurred.
For the second round of design, we focused on integrating the client’s comments into variations of Images 3 and 5. Here is what we presented to the client.
The client really liked the integration of the chevron from the original Image 1. Of the variations of Image 3, she preferred Variation 3-3 (the chevron pyramid), although she was still drawn to Variation 2, which showed movement within the pyramid, and Variation 5, which showed rotations of the pyramid juxtaposed over the original. Of the variations on Image 5, she preferred Variation 5-1 (the chevron pinwheel) and Variation 5-2, the chevron pinwheel inside the pyramid. She also still found herself drawn to Variation 5-4 (the lotus flower), which she felt expressed personal growth and the five pillars.
With the chevron integrated into the pinwheel, the client felt able to release the pyramid concept (Image 3) to concentrate on the pinwheel configuration, which she felt was the better depiction of her operant branding concepts, namely joy, life, and creativity. Variant 5-1 was chosen for “tweaking.”
Variants tweaked for the client included options on color saturation, the degree of sharpness of the pinwheel points, various degrees of tonality (the amount of black mixed with the colors), the type of star that appears in the center, and outlining options. The client wound up choosing the following combination of options.
The last step of the design was to choose the font for the company name. The selection of a font requires the same thought and consideration as does logo creation, mainly because visual logos are sometimes widely in use and, at other times, considered out of vogue. Right now, logos with visual components are very much in fashion. However, by choosing a font that not only complements your logo, but can also carry much of the same symbolism as your logo does, your font can be used even when the visual logo is not in vogue, meaning that your branding can stand the test of time: you can either include or exclude the visual design portion of the branding, depending on what is trendy.
We can conceivably use over 80,000 fonts, so the selection of a font is no trivial matter, especially if you want your company’s image to say something fresh or unique…or, for that matter, simply be noticed.
In this particular brand, we had determined early on that the concept of life and the concept of functioning led to substantially different visual interpretations which, although melded carefully in our client’s products and services, still deserved some unique treatment in font selection. We therefore selected about a dozen font choices for the word “life” and another dozen fonts for “functioning.com.” We mixed and matched the options until it became clear that there were two exceptionally good choices. We presented both of these options to the client, along with a number of alternatives for placement of the words relative to the image. What the client ultimately selected was the following combination.
This branding is intended for use across all platforms, including print and web. It can also be customized in a variety of ways for product lines and will even work without ink as an embossed image.
Blue Star Recycling
The client is an electronics recycler. Until recently, the company name had been Blue Star Electronics, a satellite operation of a Northern California company. Because the California headquarters operation had been shown to have sought California recycling credit for goods collected outside the state, that company had closed. In the process, the Colorado operation—which had not participated in any wrongdoing, was purchased by a new owner, who then renamed the company to distance it from the parent company.
The client recycles electronics business equipment containing metals and plastics. The company also provides the service of emptying, sorting, and disposing of large rooms of equipment and furnishings. Lastly, the firm sometimes buys excess inventory.
The previous branding consisted of a blue star, accompanied with the words “Blue Star Electronics LLC” in an Italic serif font. (Serifs are the horizontal lines on letters that do not, for the most part, identify the letter, but, rather, serve to embellish it and give it a sense of being “grounded” on its environment.) The company name inclined at a 9º (nine degree) angle and also decreased in size over the course of the name, suggesting progressive movement into the future and much in the style of science fiction and adventure story titling. Under the name were three lines that mimicked the perspective of the letters. Here is how that logo looked.
The new owner decided to rename the company to accentuate the recycling nature of the business. Had we been brought into the process during the naming process, we would have recommended that both the electronics (or business equipment) and the recycling nature of the company be conveyed in its name, primarily in order to avoid calls from consumers and property owners seeking consumer-side recycling (e.g., glass, paper, aluminum cans, plastic containers, etc.).
The key concepts the company wished to convey to prospective customers is that they are EPA-compliant, security conscious, and reputable.
WenMark, in evaluating the branding, wanted to link the visual logo to the astronomical concept of the blue star, which is a very hot star near the end of its life expectancy. We believe this image was a very good branding basis for a recycling company, since recycling is both a “hot topic” and deals with products that are near the end of their useful lives. We also felt it would be optimal to show that the client company is at the cutting edge of its industry and stays current with the newest recycling “best practices.” Lastly, in view of the previous irregularity with the company’s original owner, we felt it important to convey a sense of honesty, integrity, and reliability in the branding.
The blue star itself already conveyed itself through the both the blue star image and the name of the company. EPA compliance could, we felt, be conveyed through use of the green recycling arrows. Reputability, honesty, integrity, and reliability could most simply be conveyed through use of a serif font, which associates a company with a type of “groundedness” that increases a viewer’s estimate of the company’s overall trustworthiness.
Conveying the idea of security consciousness was a concept that we felt could best be depicted visually by likening the logo to the iconic simplicity of government signage (public signs that appear in buildings, on roads, etc.). However, we also knew that conveying the notion that the company utilizes cutting-edge recycling methods would call for a more modern logo. We decided to offer the client a choice between a more traditional, security-minded logo and a more modern, cutting-edge logo.
Here are the logo directions we presented to the client in the first design round.
As you can see, in Image 1, we offered the client a logo variant on the original Blue Star branding, replacing the italic text with a modern serif text that better conveys the company’s reliability and integrity. We changed the font for the word “Recycling” to convey the simple process that keeps our environment cleaner. We varied the original lines to show that merchandise gets distributed during the recycling process. We also felt that the divergent lines would stimulate thought of a shooting star, which is consistent with the slogan we developed for the company, namely “The star of green solutions.”
Then, launching into the security consciousness logos, we offered the client Logo 2, which utilized the commonly-seen recycling triangle, and Logo 3, which transitioned the recycling process into a circular format. Feeling that it would be too difficult for a prospective customer to identify small images of equipment, we decided that the recycling arrows should separate the words of the company name.
Logos 4, 5, and 6 presented the client with a more modern set of graphic directions that emphasized the cutting-edge nature of recycling. Logo 4 superimposes triangular recycling arrows over the star itself and, additionally, shows the heat of the star by varying its color from dark blue edges to a white-hot center in four bands of color (the “blue-to-white star”). Logo 5 plays on the concept of the shooting star, showing it trailing off into the distance in much the same way that the letter and arrows in the original logo did. However, we then bring the star’s “tail” back around to point to the word “Recycling” in the company name. We pair this modern logo with serif shadow text for the words “Blue Star” and simple, yet modern, contrasting “sans serif” (without serifs) text for the word “Recycling.” Logo 6 literally shows each word of the company name recycling back to itself around the blue star. We have made the orbits of the recycling more ovular to express both modernity and creation. (Think egg and incubator, then liken it to the concept of new recycling methodologies.) In this logo, we also introduced a third color, the orange shade that is opposite to the chosen blue tone on the color wheel. We feel that, from a design perspective, using a main color, an adjacent color, and a color complementary to the main color makes for good design. We wanted to show the client here that it is entirely possible to use more than two colors in the company logo.
The client appreciated all the directions as valid, but ultimately rejected Logo 1 because it was too reminiscent of the company from which he was trying to distance himself. Because the company is located in Colorado Springs, a community with a strong military presence, the client felt (rightly) that local businesses might respond more to Logos 2 and 3 and chose those directions to be developed. We recommended that the client consult with us again should he decide to expand his operation beyond Colorado Springs and vicinity.
The client he was essentially satisfied and wanted only development changes “within elements” (e.g., varying the kind of star, varying the font, varying arrow, etc.). The second round thus became more of an expanded tweaking process.
Based on the client’s feedback, here are the logos presented for the second round of offerings.
The client appreciated all the variables and debated for some time before finally selecting the triangular-shaped Logo 2. In the process, he also altered his star preference from the chevron star he had initially preferred to the blue-to-white star shown in variants 2.2 and 2.3. The blue-to-white star creates a definite point of focus, which draws the viewer to the symmetry of the logo.
There were still two details that felt a tad tentative in the client’s mind. The first detail had to do with the size of the word “Recycling” relative to the words “Blue Star.” The client had originally felt that all the words should be the same size. We were clear, however, that we felt that the word recycling should be somewhat smaller, since it would both balance the logo visually and draw greater attention to the unique name of the company. We prepared several workable size variants for the client, and a choice was made.
The second detail with which the client needed some assistance was choosing the font. We stated that our recommendation was that the client was best off choosing a font serif for the words “Blue Star” and a sans serif font for the word “Recycling.” We felt that a reasonably acceptable alternative was to choose a serif font for the entire company name. We emphasized to the client that the serif font would better his key concepts to customers. It would also, we shared, better support his emphasis on security consciousness. The client chose to go with a sans serif font.
Here is the final logo on which the client decided.
How well does the final logo fulfill the company’s intended message?
þ You can see that this logo, with its standard triangular recycling arrows, suggests that the client company is EPA-compliant.
þ The iconic characteristics of the logo are reminiscent of government signage so that prospective customers will view the company as being security conscious.
þ The font logo and triangular shape of the logo imbue the company with a feeling of stability, reputability, and reliability.
þ The blue-to-white star visually implies a hot star.
þ The forward slant of the font implies progress and a forward-thinking company.
If you are interested in working with our team to create and develop branding for your company, you may do so either by agreement or through our fixed-price Logo Creation and Development Package. Please contact WenMark, Inc., at (719) 475-2068 to inquire about these services.
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