I wanted to launch my freelance business with a blitz of all new everything. New website, new reel, new look for my collateral materials such as resumes, invoices, ect. What I didn’t want to change was some of the more basic stuff like the logo. I wanted to keep as well as a lot of the general brand characteristics.
So a brand refresh, as opposed to a complete rebrand, was the most logical way to go about my goal. Brand refreshes always prove to be a fun challenge— the goal is that the brand looks as modern and new as if it was developed today but for it to have enough similarities that it doesn’t throw away the brand equity that the old look built. Important to me, with lots of business cards, reels and resumes floating around, is that if someone sees an old piece it shouldn’t look completely out of place with the new stuff. This is my second brand refresh since I first started freelancing the first time way back in 2010. As I’ve grown as a designer and as trends and tastes have changed, I’ve been able to modernize and update my persona branding as I’ve gone along. Some of the design choices I made years ago weren’t that strong, but many were. But when you’re in a field that moves as fast as Motion Design does, things quickly start to look dated as new design trends emerge. Check out the design progression below:
I’ve gone back to my first original look and and pulled my original “frog belly green” mint color to serve as my new primary color. The old brand contrasted the cool mint with a more cheerful green and a lot of nice creams and browns to give the brand a warm and inviting look. The new look goes completely the other direction— secondary colors are dark grey that’s cool enough to almost be navy and simple, stark white.
My circle gears that I’ve had around in one form or another since the beginning are now gone. While still present in a lot of my design and logo, the curved shape that caused me so much web design headache in the past has been de-emphasized and is now only a secondary design element. My old hexagonal pattern, in contrast, has been repurposed from a background element to one of the primary elements of the design. It too has been transformed, though— whereas before it was a warm inviting honeycomb, it’s now a hard alien grid of metallic hexagonal tiles. Put into motion, they float by some unearthly force, a pale green light shining through the gaps.
For the typeface I kept Gotham because, well, I love Gotham. With a tagline like “Gotham— What letters look like”, how could you not? You’ll find the weights to be a lot lighter, though. Bold is still used for titles, but body text goes from Medium to Book. A small but notable change. Rounded, which was traditionally my heading font, is now completely reserved for the logo (or my name on my resume).
As for existing collateral I had laying around, it’s mostly still usable. With all of the great clients, projects and awards from Origo, my old resumes are so outdated that they were destined for the recycling bin anyways. My business cards are a bit off-brand in terms of colors, but they’re still sleek and modern enough to work just fine. My old reel case makes pretty strong use of the circle gears, which I don’t use anymore, but is otherwise pretty on point. The bigger question is, however, who even wants reels on DVD anymore? Most newer computers aren’t even sold with DVD players anymore and, while it’s not uncommon for most offices to have a TV, DVD production has quickly gone from a standard task at the end of a project to a specialty service. I’ve considered repurposing my DVD cases as USB drive holders to send out to agencies but it’s becoming increasingly true that web is not only the first point of contact in this business but often the primary and only one. As much as I love trying my hand using the packaging, print and product design skills needed for collateral materials, not needing them saves money, time and is better for the environment. More importantly, an online reel is always up to date and the “I should send him an email later” of a business card is replaced by a link to do so immediately, theoretically driving higher conversions.
All in all, very happy with how the new branding turned out. I’ve grown a lot as a designer in the last few years and I feel like the new branding reflects that. Good design is foundational to good motion design and while the reel and work is the core of what I’m presenting, I’m confident that this newly refreshed brand will do a good job in presenting it.