As with any successful branding project, we started off by outlining our ideal brand characteristics, and the adjectives we wanted it to exude.
By reviewing our brainstormed characteristics and adjectives, does anything come to mind? For me, I immediately thought of a wrist-watch (not an Apple watch, the real deal). Think of a Mad Men-type, dressed in a dapper suit on his way to work in New York City. The watch is likely of German/Swiss design — timeless, trustworthy, and high quality. The entire visual exudes class, professionalism, and the glamour of the finance world.
Whether embroidered on swag or blown up on billboards, everything is easier — and more cohesive — when your logo can consistently be applied across all applications and use cases.
Alt has a visually and phonetically short name, a similar design challenge to the recent Lob rebrand, where I’d come to the following conclusions —
It is important to visualize how your logo could appear in all use-cases: grayscale, inverted (white on dark bg), etc. You can always design alternate versions of a logo for use in these instances, but it’s much more straightforward when starting with a single-color logo.
Easy-to-use wordmark (fits 1:1 space, single-color)
Doesn’t align with our adjectives
, and too consumer-y/startup-y
feeling. Worse than that, it's not legible (reads like “Air”). With three short letters you don’t have as many context clues as you would with a longer name like Alternative. It's important here for the ‘t’ to have a full crossbar to ensure legibility.
Perfect text weight. With a three-letter logo, its important to be bold enough to put a stake in the ground (vs. too thin and look like it could be blown away with the wind). In juxtaposition, we can’t have anything too bulky and buff, or we lose the refined personality. This text weight is a perfect balance between both.
Feels stale — not enough personality. Let’s see what happens if we add a long tail to the ‘t’ for added flair
“t” is too peppy, too much (& not the right type of) personality
James Bond in a midnight-blue tuxedo whispering in your ear at a classy black tie event
Both quiet and bold
Appeals to the Masses
Financial / Slightly Masculine
Ease of Use
The Alt team doesn’t need to dictate when to use icon, icon+wordmark, just wordmark, etc — in all touchpoints we can use the same logo, stress-free and consistently, like a stamp (even the favicon!)