In this post I am going to walk you through Cardboard Spaceship’s journey in rebranding our very own logo design. We’ll take a look at how our brand has evolved over the past decade, and you’ll get to see a few logo concepts that never got to see the light of day.
If you’re thinking about a redesign yourself, or even a little refresh, then I hope that this article provides you some insight towards updating your own brand/logo.
So why would you redesign/update your logo?
- You’ve outgrown your current one.
- You’re rebranding.
- Your logo files are outdated for screen and print.
As for Cardboard Spaceship, we felt we had outgrown our original concepts, and it was time to consider rebranding. However, before we get into the thick of it, we’ll talk about our third bullet point first, as there still are a few companies that will find themselves in this situation.
When it comes to outdated files, some older businesses that have been around for a while (before social media was even a thought), were typically given a floppy disk with all of their design files on it. Then the only file that ever got used/saved to their desktop, was the sole image file of their logo.
This image file was used for invoice headers, fax copies, new hire business cards, and even ended up on their business listing in the Yellow Pages.
Then slowly but surely, the internet came along. Now you need your logo on your website, your social media accounts, your email profile pic… and it better be at the highest resolution possible to ensure it looks crisp on every high retina phone and computer screen across the galaxy.
Albeit rare, there are some companies that still have these old files. Unfortunately, for the most part, they can not be scaled up to a bigger size in order to maintain their visual quality. Printing also becomes problematic when trying to enlarge the logo for bigger print materials (ie. billboards, banners, posters).
The solution in this case, without doing a complete rebrand/redesign of your logo, is to hire a designer to trace the existing image file of your logo with a vector program like Adobe Illustrator. Overall, it’s a relatively easy process.
This solution isn’t just for older companies that have advertised in phone books, there are some companies out there that never got the right design files from their designer, and perhaps do not have a working relationship with the artist anymore. It happens, so always make sure to get all of your files from the get-go.
And for those that don’t have that file, and need some helps, do not hesitate to get in touch.
So why did we rebrand? The ultimate reason was because it just wasn’t what Cardboard Spaceship is/was about. Here is a logo concept that we originally were trying to make work.
When I shared it with people to get some feedback, one of the original responses was ‘someone might associate it with fragility.’ Basically saying that it could convey that I wasn’t building/creating designs for people that would be durable. And durability in a logo design is quite important, as when it comes to designing a brand you’re trying to design something that is timeless.
So I moved on to a concept that fell into a category of clean/suggestive design when it came to the ‘cardboard box’ side of the name. Keep in mind, I really wanted to instill the essence of what a Cardboard Spaceship meant to me while trying to abide by all of the ‘design rules’ I learned in school.
This is what I came up with:
If I’m being honest, I can’t believe I went with this first version of the design before updating it a couple of years later to this one:
I think that these versions were a ‘safe’ design choice, even when someone said it reminded them of Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg’s SNL Digital Short “Dick in a Box.” A comment I couldn’t argue with, as I saw it too. That being said I actually really liked the 2.0 version of this design, despite thinking I’d probably outgrow it.
Ultimately, it never spoke to the creative imagination I had as a kid. I would have never taken a box in my youth, paint it red, cut out a window, and then start to fly around the universe in it. It would have been painted yellow of course, because that was my favourite colour at the time!
Seriously, it would have been all decked out… I would have got a sharpie and gave my ship a control panel in the cockpit, drawn rivets on the outside to make it look like I assembled the panels together, and it sure AF (as f#ck) would have have rudders on each and every side of it.
So last year when I decided I wanted to get back into design full time, I thought I needed to rebrand. The name would still remain, but the ship needed a redesign.
I took all of the design rules I learned in school: don’t use gradients on logos, only use 2, maybe 3 colours max in your design, and don’t eat or drink at your computer station and threw all of that BS right out the ship window (if you’re going to eat or drink at your computer (personal, or business), that is at your own risk).
So I took a digital pen and applied it to my tablet. I came up with a couple of 1.0 versions like this, before ultimately making my final edits:
Finally, I feel like I have something that speaks to the essence of my company name, along with the creative services I provide. Yes, it’s not a literal interpretation of a spaceship made from cardboard, but I know a younger me would think this version is totally rad!
Depending on where your company is at, rebranding may or may not be for you. There is work that goes into a redesign aside from just creating a fresh new logo. A new logo needs to be changed/updated across all online channels, and then updated on all print materials too. Business cards, vehicles decals, invoices, letterheads… new printing costs. You really do have to plan for it in advance, and be ready to roll out your new brand all at once.
So what do we recommend… listen to your heart, so to speak. If you feel like you’ve outgrown what you currently have, then it doesn’t hurt to start brainstorming. Sketches can be drawn up before any major costs are incurred. As well, it’s more than just a visual redesign, you’ll also feel reenergized.
The more confident you are about your brand and how it looks to the world, the more confident you will be in your business. It’s important to recognize when you’re feeling disconnected from your brand, as that disconnection can sometimes sneak up into your work and affect sales/viewership. The earlier you catch on to this, the better.
And as simple as it sounds: ‘look good, feel good.’ The better you are feeling, positive things will most likely come your way… ‘in bed.’
My last sentence almost had a cookie fortune vibe to it, so I went with it.
Peace oot Earthlings!