When I first started working at WRAP part of my role was to deal with the marketing for the recently launched Sell It Back. Now depending on when you’re reading this you’ll either being seeing the original website or my new design or maybe there’ll be yet another design in the months or years after I’ve finished this internship… but this is the site that was in use when I first started:
Now there’s a number of issues I had with this that I want to talk about over a series of posts and I also want to talk about my process of re-branding and designing the new website but for today I want to start with the logo and why I took such an instant dislike to it.
Using the original Sell It Back logo I’m going to talk about the 3 things to avoid when designing a logo.
1) Avoid a logo you can’t use at multiple sizes.
Your logo is basically what’s going to represent your company over a range of mediums. So you need to make sure you can use it at big sizes without loosing quality (for example if you want to print in on a billboard) and at small sizes without loosing detail (for example, as your icon on social media).
This means 2 things:
a) You need to create you logo as a Vector so you can easily resize it
b) You should think about using basic, recognisable shapes and avoid small details
The main issue I had in regards to this with the SIB logo were that I’d only been supplied with a PNG file that was 215 x 160px. So if I wanted it any larger than this, for example when we were printing leaflets, I’d have to compromise on image quality which is not something I like doing.
The second big issue was that it contained too many details to be used anywhere small. Take Twitter for example, as you scroll down your feed the icon are 48 x 48px. Just scrolling down my feed right now, I’m seeing loads of great, easily recognisable logos, even at this small size:
While the general shape is still there, the text become annoyingly unreadable and you can’t see any of the details.
2) Avoid picking the wrong colours for your company
Colour plays a huge part in logo design. It says a lot about who your company is and can make you instantly recognisable, if chosen well. However your logo but also look good and be recognisable in black and white.
There’s a lot of great resources out there explaining what colour does to the brain, how our consumers respond to it and how you can utilize this in branding.
When I was first thinking about re-branding Sell It Back I asked the company director “What traits do you want associated with Sell It Back?” To which he responded:
In which case I guess red seems a suitable colour. Red is often associated with:
- A sense of urgency
- Excitement and Passion
- High energy
However, there was one trait I didn’t think was being addressed, in fact I felt like it was being ignored completely which I didn’t think the red colour suited at all – Trust.
Think about it, Sell It Back is a company where you box up a load of your belongings, send it off and hope we actually come through and pay you the money we promised you. I mean of course, I know we’re a legit company who always pays up, but imagine I’ve just stumbled across the website and am deciding whether to use it or not… To me this shade of red says ‘we’re about doing things quickly and cheaply without putting you first’, however to me it also says ‘I could be a guy sat in his mum’s spare bedroom or in a cheap office down some grotty alleyway in Barnsley’ but maybe that’s just because I’m from the north.
So I got thinking, what colours are going to encourage trust? What colours are going to say ‘we’re all about giving the customer a great experience, we’re hear to help. You want to declutter you’re home and we’re going to make that easy for you and give you a great deal in return’ so I went away and did a little research about colour and psychology, in fact here’s a great little post about it and I came up with the following colour scheme:
- Pale Blue – To simulate feelings of trust and reliability
- Light Grey – For feelings of practicality and simplicity
- White – Again for creating feelings of trust and also professionalism
3) Avoid choosing the wrong font, or using too many fonts
The Sell It Back logo uses 2 fonts: One for ‘Sell It Back’ the other for ‘.com’
The problems I have here are:
- While the number of fonts on the logo isn’t too many, they’re then never seen again throughout the whole website making the branding is inconsistent
- They don’t really feel right for the brand
Just like colours have a psychological response from customers, so do fonts. Often Serif fonts are associated with tradition and reliability, however in this context, to me this looked a little more outdated and ‘couldn’t be bothered to find anything else’.
Because we wanted to say Trust, Reliable and Simple I instead chose a modern looking sans serif font which I’ll talk about in a later blog post. For more about font psychology check out this great post.
So if all that is what you shouldn’t do, what should you be making sure you do?
- Make sure you understand the brand and it’s positioning
- Choose appropriate fonts and colours
- Make your logo recognisable and avoid small details
- Create a logo suitable for use ina all contexts: It must be usable at different sizes and on different backgrounds
- Use appropriate software to create your design