This week at Design Office we have had a glowing review from yet another satisfied customer, thanks to our talented and creative team!
“Just to say, a BIG thank you for all the input from Kev and Steph at Design Office in Crewe. They have listened intently to all my requirements, and come out with exactly what I asked for and more! I now have food for thought as I have 2 choices which are both 100%. I’m sure that my website which I have instructed to be designed will also be top notch. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending anyone to Kev and his team.
Belinda approached us at the beginning of October to talk about her new business venture, a high-end domestic cleaning service that uses only 100% natural products, and from our very first conversation with her we just knew that it has to be Design Office that developed the brand. Belinda has such passion and enthusiasm for the business, much like we have for design, which is why we knew we would be the perfect partner for Belinda to share this project with.
Belinda’s business is very niche; there may be a lot of domestic cleaning companies in the local area but not a single competitor actively cleans with only 100% natural products. While she has an awareness of how damaging cleaning chemicals can be to the environment, Belinda also has an awareness of how damaging they can be to individuals with allergies, small children and pets. As a mother of young children and owner of pets herself, Belinda is very conscious of how unsafe most shop-bought cleaning products can be and is eager to not only provide a safer cleaning service, but educate her clients in the hope that they will follow in her footsteps and use only 100% natural cleaning products.
As if this is not a big enough USP, Belinda will also only employ staff who are DBS checked and have had the sufficient training to clean any house to the same standard that she would herself. Belinda wants to ensure that her company is completely transparent, showing her clients exactly what service they will be getting and who will be providing that service, forming a premium business with strong morals as the foundation.
Here at Design Office we were captivated by the genuine passion Belinda has for her business and we wanted to develop a brand that would do that justice. After our initial conversation we had five days to create a logo that represents her business, what it offers and what it stands for, and no time to waste!
After an initial briefing about Belinda, her business and what she expects to see in her brand, our designers began working through the following stages, asking themselves a list of questions as they went along to help them craft the perfect logo.
- Think big from the beginning. Of course at Design Office we look at the bigger picture and while this business has only just been born, we try to envision the established, recognised company. Winning the hearts and minds of customers with a memorable logo can be the difference between the success or failure of a business, so it was vital that we developed logos that would capture the essence of the brand without any unnecessary elements. For Design Office, this included developing strong names and catchy straplines. While Belinda had thought about ‘Naturally Clean’ or ‘The Greener Housekeeper’ here at Design Office we believed that there was a stronger name for her business. We were also mindful of the fact that Belinda would inevitably need a website and therefore needed a name that a) was not too long to be a domain name and b) was available as a domain name. Our designers spent some time thinking of alternative names and checking their availability, producing options such as ‘Select Cleaning’ and ‘Greener Clean’ to accompany straplines such as ‘Domestic cleaning for the discerning home owner’.
- Typography is important. Fonts have a personality of their own and can immediately tell customers what type of brand they can expect purely from the font used in the logo. Belinda’s company is obviously all about the perfect domestic clean, so it was important that our designers looked for fonts that were contemporary, clean cut and minimal.
- Colour means a lot. Do you think the McDonald’s logo would be the same if it had a green background instead of a red one? What about a rainbow coloured Apple logo instead of a black one? Whether we consciously or subconsciously acknowledge it, we are constantly affected by colour theory; colour gives meaning to everything around us and makes us think and feel in a certain way. When we think of the environment we automatically think of the colour green and although as a design company we wanted to avoid using green and blending in we had to ensure that any other colour we used would provoke thoughts or emotions that we wanted to be associated with Belinda’s company.
- Look at your logo from every angle. A logo make look perfect when it is upright on a white background, but to avoid any potential embarrassments, you should logo at your logo from every angle to ensure it cannot be depicted as something else. In addition, a logo is not often designed to be used in just one situation so you must ensure that your logo works on all platforms including print and digital. For our designers, it was important to create a logo that would work on print materials and on screen, but branded workwear will also be an important element to Belinda’s business; creating a logo that is too complicated to embroider would therefore be useless!
- Logos are more than just a cool symbol or font. When a business first starts out, of course the entire logo will be used on everything, including any symbols, names and straplines. However, looking again at the bigger picture, a truly successful business will be recognised by any element of its brand. It is therefore essential that, as the face of a company, any logo is smart, precise and direct. As mentioned before, the logo should capture the essence of the brand, so it was the job of our designers to ensure that Belinda’s character came through in the design of the logo, along with a concise summary of what her business stands for.
Our designers went above and beyond for Belinda, and not only did they create three concepts that she was expecting, they let their creativity take over to produce a fourth wild card. As a team we sat down and critiqued our creations before allowing Belinda to see them; before presenting our final concepts to her we had to answer the following questions ourselves.
- What is our gut reaction? Do we like it? If we don’t like it and don’t believe in it, how can we sell it to someone else?
- Does it work? We already know that Belinda’s brand development will involve print materials, a website and workwear. Are these logos appropriate for all of this?
- Does it make sense? A successful logo will be instantly clear and there will be a solid, simple explanation behind it.
- Have we had courage? The most common pitfall in brand identity work is that the project doesn’t stand out. Have we had the courage to produce something unique? Maybe even a little daring?
We felt that each concept ticked the boxes of all of the questions above and we were happy that Design Office had more than fulfilled the brief we were given. We presented our concepts to Belinda and we received a positive reaction for each one. Unfortunately for her, her reaction to two of them was so positive that she now can’t decide which one to go for!
The first concept she chose was exactly what she was expecting (in a good way). This logo featured her original name ‘Naturally Clean’, with the accompanying strapline ‘domestic cleaning for the discerning homeowner’, perfectly summarising the morals of the business. In this logo, the font used was a clean cut, contemporary sans serif font to compliment the curves used in the creation of the actual logo itself, a house shape and leaf shape combined to represent the eco-friendly clean of the customer’s home. Of course green was the chosen colour, although a gradient was added to add a new depth and a richer green to try and steer the mind away from thoughts of the eco-friendly element and instead focus on the premium aspect as darker greens are associated with wealth. Belinda felt that this concept completely answered the brief that she gave and if that had been the only concept designed she would have been more than happy with it.
The second concept was our wild card, that Belinda was just not expecting. This logo comprised of a purple background with the name ‘Ayvo’ and a simplistic tear drop shape with a deliberate break to the left of the top point. Belinda’s first reaction was one of confusion and she therefore thought that her target market would also miss the message. However, after explaining that actually Ayvo is a Greek word meaning ‘pure’ and the purple colour was chosen to represent luxury, Belinda loved the reasons why that design had been created in such a way and felt that it would make her stand out from the crowd as well as generate a certain curiosity, inviting people to find out what ‘Ayvo’ is all about.
In the end we had to let Belinda take her designs away as food for thought as she was really struggling to make a decision! Maybe you can help her? Having read all about Belinda and her business let us know which design you would choose!
We thrive on creative projects are we are always looking for the opportunity to develop the next big brand. If you are a start-up business with no identity, or an existing business that would love a brand makeover, why not call us on 01270 252106 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment today!