December Nineteenth two thousand eighteen
New Year, New Look
Taking the time to revisit and evolve your brand is an essential part of a company’s evolution. That’s why even us, a digital agency, sometimes need to take a step back, reevaluate our visual language and rebrand. In the 12 years that we’ve been in business, we’ve rebranded 4 times. It seems like a lot, and it is. However, in my opinion, this iteration will last us a very long time. Let me tell you why.
Since the inception of CMYK, we have always strived to be strange, off the cuff and elusive in our image. As a small business, we felt that having an identity that was built around obscurity would allow us to continually pivot and reimagine ourselves, keeping opportunities for different types of work easily accessible. Our logos have always been cryptic, and that was the goal. The benefit is that it required people to ask questions, but on the flip side, nobody really knew who we were or what we did. The biggest elephant in the room was that when looking at our logo, nobody even knew our name.
2018 was a big year for us. We had the opportunity to work with some fantastic new brands and grew our team to 10. We left our home in Gowanus after 5 years and moved to a new space in DUMBO. And with all this change in the air, we realized that a new logo was the right next step in helping us define the next phase of CMYK. Our primary goals with the redesign were to have our name clearly identified, represent a mature side of the organization, and to still retain that little bit of quirkiness which has defined us for over a decade.
We collaborated with designer Brandon Nickerson to work with us on the redesign of our branding and identity. We had worked with him in the past and felt he had a really unique perspective in addition to some amazing design skills. It was important for us not to design this in-house, to get an outside perspective of the company. One might think that this would be unorthodox for a design studio to bring in a third party, but we felt that this partnership would allow us to play the role of the client, and be more focused on the overall vision than the execution.
In three months we were able to iterate on several different ideas which have landed us on a new system for 2019. The new identity includes both a word mark and a monogram to allow us more versatility with all our collateral. The stand-alone wordmark clearly identifies our business’ name and is used as the centerpiece on all collateral. The monogram is more abstract but is cleverly designed using pixels that spell out CMYK. The symbol is mainly used on our social channels and in places where a more compact visual representation of the brand is required. Additionally, we’ve introduced Avalon as our new brand typeface and have moved towards a black and white color pallet. The overall aesthetic is sophisticated, upscale and represents where we want our business to grow.
Brands are living breathing organisms, and things change. It’s important to remember that your visual identity needs to reflect the world not only who you are but who you want to be. By approaching design with an aspirational mentality, it provides you with something to grow into. Don’t be so emotionally tied to the past and recognize that sometimes a change of clothes will do you wonders….you’re still the same on the inside. 😉