Original article found here. Written by Ludmila Shevchenko
The branding is much more than the logo image. It’s about reimagining the purpose of the company, its values, and its perception.
Last year I was reached out to by Public Outreach. They were in process of updating their brand identity and were looking for a designer to help them achieve this.
Public Outreach is a fundraising agency based in Australia and New Zealand providing services for non-for-profit organizations focusing on meaningful issues with like-minded partners to enable positive change.
The team had already completed internal research to define their mission, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as the colour scheme, and had ideas behind how they wanted the visual presentation to appear.
Rebranding of a fundraising agency
The mission of the company
Engage, elevate, and be effective in providing services for non-for-profit organizations and enabling positive change.
Key factors to remember
The company has completed internal research and got a vision of the brand strategy. At the same time, they are open to fresh ideas.
The visual style of the logo should be bright, with a subtle meaning
The feeling you should get seeing the brand is—to feel we’re approachable but an authority in the industry
The beginning of the work
When working on the logo I usually start with hand-drawn sketches first. It’s the best way to deliver the ideas as fast as possible, and while I’m drawing the first ideas, I already dream up the next one.
The first sketches
This time I followed my regular approach. As you can notice, most of the variants have an imperfect circle as one of the key elements. This is because such a shape symbolizes people with different backgrounds and skills.
Choosing ideas to develop further
The evolution of colour combinations and shape formation
In this variant, I showed the neat “P” letter where the circle consists of several others inside it. I also played with colours to see how the general perception can be changed when we move the colour tone.
Bright “P” with font
The next concept consists of “P” that has overlayed shapes bringing the feeling of a perspective.
The colour in this variant plays a big role, as depending on how you choose colours, the overlay effect appears in a different way—whether you emphasize it by a contrast colour (2) or make it as a darker part as a continuation of one of the layers (1, 3).
Trying this variant with the composition of the circles brings a new vision. Perspective in “P” adds to the movement and direction of the circles and altogether, we get a dynamic element.
Playing with colour combinations—calm (1), bright (2), medium bright (3)
Another thing was to play with the tiny details—angle, roundings, and more colour combinations. In the result, it showed a more “classic” view of the letter which means that it’ll be easier to “read” the idea.
The formation of “P” changes the roundness and proportions
At this point, it was also decided to stick to the existing branding colours.
The combination of circles felt like the right style, while the other part of the logo could be further explored.
So, the next stage was to play with “P” and “O” letters which reflect the full name—Public Outreach.
Four variants based on a combination of “P” and “O” letters
The variants vary with an overlay (or not) as well as different “O” styles.
Then, I checked the combinations with different fonts.
Checking various combinations of fonts and composition
Of course, there are always multiple approaches to how to play with the details in order to get another perspective. At this stage, I created more options playing with the distance between letters, the angle and number of circles in “O”, as well as waves.
Formation of composition and detailing inside the shapes of the circles
“O” itself while being quite a simple letter has even more variations.
In the following versions, the letters again are placed with a slight angle to add dynamics while “O” varies in shapes that could be further animated.
The variants with different “moving O”
How not get lost while comparing multiple variations?
Ok, so this is a common question you might get once there are many iterations done. Sometimes seeing 4–8 variants together which have slight differences it’s getting harder to choose the one. So, what’s the solution?
In this case, it will be very helpful to see the variants on a different scale as well.
It’s a rule I discovered while learning in art school back in the day. Usually, you’re drawing at one distance to the canvas and your eye gets used to the picture. As a result, you can hardly notice details or small disadvantages. But once you step out from your work and check it from a different perspective, it becomes smaller, you start to see it differently and your eye will notice some new things.
Pro tip: Check your work on a different scale, both standard and smaller size. This way you’ll get a new perspective and fresh perception. Also, it is needed to be able to imagine how the logo will look like in, let’s say, a header of your website.
Different variants in big and small scale
The final result
In the end, we decided to focus on the circles only. They represent:
The imperfect nature of the circles symbolizes people with different backgrounds and skills collectively making a successful whole. The different shades represent the development of staff throughout their time at Public Outreach.
Final logo for Public Outreach
How the logo expands into the branding
Once the logo is created you should move to the next step—create the patterns of how to expand and use the brand style over multiple elements on the website, social media, and/or printed parts. This way the brand will look consistent and holistic.
1. Using the logo in a different scenario
Here, the logo itself can become a self-explanatory element.
Scheme showing the values of the company
2. Detach one element of the logo
Having the imperfect shapes of the circles as the core elements you have a chance to expand using this element in other cases, for example, small graphic images describing the products.
The different shapes, as well as colours, add to the fresh perception of each group.
Three graphics are followed by three shapes of the circles
3. Create a new composition out of logo elements
Another approach is to create new compositions of elements based on the one from the logo. Like in the following example where the area for the company’s logo has a different new formation.
The example of how the testimonials look
4. Incorporate a logo shape in the image of the team
This way you get the ready pattern for the Our Team chapter on the website but that’s not the only way to use it.
Professional networks such as Linkedin could be a great place to showcase people as one team with the help of such branded avatars.
Part of Our Team page
Working on the Public Outreach logo&branding was a great experience for me. First of all, thanks to a great collaboration with the client. I got the feedback right on time and nevertheless such a large time difference between us (GMT +2 hours vs. GMT+13) we managed to have calls to be able to discuss the updates and get a better understanding of where to move.
A great collaboration is an extremely important thing you can’t overestimate.
Then, the logo creation was fun and consistent process exploring multiple variations of how one logo can look in the end.
Another aspect was to find solutions to release the final web design based on Wix functionality. Wix does provide you with various approaches but at the same time limits the possible concepts. Because of that, you challenge yourself with finding creative ways how to get what you want out of limited sources.
One more thing that really excited me was to see how quickly the work was released as well as to get positive feedback from the whole team and community. This is where, as a designer, I see the real impact of my work.