New Year, New Logo: Ready for a Refresh?
When to Redesign Your Brand
“You need to make materials that are bold and striking; something that really explains the fundamental values and vision of a particular idea. Wondros is at the edge of storytelling, at the edge of what’s possible. It’s about imagining a future that doesn’t exist.” – Jesse Dylan, Founder and CEO, Wondros
Change is inevitable. It’s easy to know when it’s time for a new haircut or a change of scenery, but when it comes to an existing, established brand, how do you know when the time is right to refresh your look? Fortunately, we have a team of branding, creative and marketing experts in-house who just re-imagined our Wondros logo, and they’re here to guide us through the process.
FROM THE INSIDE OUT
“We help people explore what’s possible – we come along to un-complicate and communicate it for them – telling a story. We have to walk the walk design-wise.”
-Leslie Dance, Executive Director, Marketing Strategy, Wondros
Prior to Wondros, Leslie Dance was CMO for brands such as Burberry, Kodak and Motorola, just to name a few. She began our rebranding process by going to the source: Wondros’ internal workforce. It’s crucial to view your brand from all angles, so the logo redesign process began with human-centered design, one of Wondros’ specialties. Our Design Research team fielded a survey to all staff, querying how we felt about our brand intellectually.
Does leadership view our brand and mission the same way that employees do? Are we living up to our mission? “A brand has to start from within,” Dance says, “and luckily, everything matched up! Then we took all of the employee feedback and created a brand pyramid — mission, vision, voice, tone, personality — all of the things that are foundational for a brand.”
Wondros’ Founder and CEO, Jesse Dylan, was also enthusiastic about the internal survey process. “We did a great job of incorporating peoples’ feedback before we got to designing. It took an extra minute to do that, but I think it was worth it,” says Dylan.
THE CREATIVE BRIEF
Next up, it was time to design. Enter Joel Luna (Senior Art Director) and Kerry Kuwata (Art Director) at Wondros.
“Our creative brief was relatively open to interpretation, which is rare (and exciting) for a branding project. We had the freedom to create without restrictions,” says Kuwata, “So, I began by focusing on the bigger picture of Wondros, and what sets us apart from other agencies. Defining that determined the creative direction. I realized that what makes Wondros so special is the people that work here. We have big hearts, we care a lot, and we have big dreams to make the world a better place. Our new “circle of dreams” logo embodies this sentiment in its simplest form.”
The circle of dreams concept struck a chord. “Kerry’s idea of the mutating “O” infused our wordmark with cleverness and endless visual possibility, without having to add a graphic logo or an abbreviated symbol like our previous lone “W”. I think that’s exactly what we needed: to keep our name always visible and evergreen,” says Luna.
DO’S & DON’TS
When it comes to best practices when approaching a logo rebrand, there are a few key things to keep in mind. “The two most important things for me are uniqueness and timelessness,” says Joel. “In our case, our most important asset is our name; it’s very unique and evokes imagination and wonder, so I went with a very simple, bold, sans serif type that can stand the test of time. We married it with Kerry’s clever idea of using the first “O” as a graphic device that’s ever-changing and we got our winning logo. It will stay fresh for as long as we use it, however we use it.”
(For anyone wondering, Wondros’ name was inspired by the Wondrous Strange school of painters who created a powerful, evocative collection of art from three generations of the Wyeth family, as well as turn-of-the-century illustrator Howard Pyle. #TheMoreYouKnow).
When asked what not to do when redesigning your brand, our art directors are in agreement:
“Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Don’t do what’s been done before,” says Kerry.
“Do not follow graphic trends or do too much,” says Joel, “As we all know, trends come and go and investing in a rebrand that will be fresh for a handful of years will never be beneficial. When we do too much, there’s no more room to keep building or expanding the brand.”
And thus, a new logo was born. “We help people explore what’s possible – we come along to uncomplicate and communicate it for them – telling a story,” says Dance, “we have to walk the walk design-wise.”