We knew from the beginning of our re-brand engagement with leading information security firm Pondurance that they wanted to keep their name and the red from their previous logo. Beyond that, everything was fair game. We were armed with some really great starter material – a collection of stories and new values from Factory Day, but visually, we were starting from square one.
We began by facilitating one of our favorite collaborative exercises – magazine brainstorming. It's a great exercise for exploring visual design direction, as well as refining things like brand tone and key messages. With a timer running and a stack of magazines at our disposal, we flipped through and tore out images, fonts, colors or words that felt like a good fit for the Pondurance brand.
Afterwards, both the SmallBox and Pondurance team shared why they picked each selection, and we grouped like ideas together. In this way, by the end of the exercise, we culled several themes that went on to inform the logo design, messaging and more. One important decision we came to during that collaborative session was that we wanted to add vibrancy to the brand by introducing a secondary color palette, but we wanted to complete the logo design first, then come back to color later. The final logo turned out like so:
After the logo was finished, we came back to our artifacts from the magazine brainstorm.
While there are many ways to choose color palette, the magazine brainstorm can be especially fruitful.
Seeing unique color combinations in photos can be a lot more inspiring than just jumping straight to flipping through Pantone books or using a digital color picker.
We had a whole stack of magazine selections that were color-related – and there was a lot of alignment around rich, saturated tones that could stand up against the main red used in the logo. Laying out all of the color picks from the collaboration side-by-side helped us see which ones would work best together. After narrowing that down, we busted out the Pantone book – and found matches for our inspiration colors.
The two-tone red from the logo mark provided further inspiration – we decided to extend the palette to include two shades of each secondary color.
Voilà – the finished color palette!
Color is of course just one component of building out a brand. But this gives a window into all of the intentional discovery, thinking and process that goes into the creating or refreshing of a brand.