Thebeauty And Thesurplus

The Beauty And The Surplus


Oversimplifying logos is hated worldwide by a very loud group of people who think either the beauty or the essence of a logo lies in its detail. The truth, however, as usual, lies in the middle. Taking something people have grown attached to and chiseling it like a block of marble is not an easy task, and many people either chisel the block until there’s nothing left of it, or are afraid of hitting hard enough. The sweet spot is what we call being able to find The Beauty and The Surplus.


The Marble Block

I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free


Now imagine if Michelangelo would have been afraid to carve a perfectly beautiful block of marble.

Creating a symbol able to adapt onto a company’s mission and future ambitions, especially in the digital age, is mostly a reductive task when the previous work has way too many ideas. Sagi Haviv of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv says that a logo needs to be three things: Appropriate (it needs to have qualities related to the niche in which the company will use it), Distinctive (it needs to be easily recognizable and memorable, one should be able to imagine the logo exactly with their eyes closed), and Simple (which I think is pretty clear).

I think that when you look at the portfolio of companies CGH has worked with, almost every company owner or chief of marketing department would find an inspirational example, so why do we think differently when it comes to our own companies?


The Fear Of Being Set Free

When you have a great idea that you want to change the world with, or that you trust your future with, letting it out in the world may seem scary (believe us, we know the feeling), which is why many of you might want a logo or an identity that will say absolutely everything there is to say about your initiative or idea. It may come as a surprise, but when people are confronted with an overload of information, they more often than not remember nothing, which is why an overcomplicated logo will always lead to your brand getting lost within the sea of brands out there.

Here’s an idea for you: Any logo should have ONE meaning. The Nike swoosh, the Apple… well, apple, the Adidas stripes, are symbols that have not been reinvented in an extremely long time. How could that be? All of them do a very good job of being memorized along with a very simple idea.

Nike and Adidas are both very dynamic symbols, one with a more fluid geometry, the other with a more rigid aspect, but both of them suggest action. No matter how many stories we hear about Newton’s apple or Eve’s apple from the garden of Eden, we think about none of them when we look at that logo. The true meaning is revealed when you look at their marketing efforts. Their logo never appears next to a title or a text, it is always related to one of their products directly, their system updates hold the names of incredible natural locations with amazing landscapes from throughout California, in their keynotes people usually appear in natural or social environments, even if they’re enjoying Apple technology. The Apple logo will forever make us feel like any device with that logo on it feels natural and easy to use, which leads perfectly into my next point.


The Little Bit Of Magic

Your logo, your brand book, will never exist in a vacuum. It will be used as a foundation for your future marketing efforts. You have infinite possibilities of innovative messaging, billboards, online ads, illustrations, or photorealistic ways to convey exactly what you want your clients to understand about your idea.

What a bad logo will do is tremendously limit these possibilities. A complex logo will never fit on a car key, a watch, or a tiny profile picture, and it might even dictate very specific use cases because of its details. A logo that is inappropriate for your field might not suit any of the ideas either of us get for your future marketing efforts. A logo that is not distinctive will as we’ve already established, doom your brand to be forever forgotten.

The fourth element Sagi Haviv spoke about which we’ve intentionally left out is a bit of magic. Something that would convey a feeling, or a specific unique element that will, in time, become what stands for your entire brand. This is the part of branding where experience and expertise have a huge role to play, but where the ability to generate ideas reign supreme.


The Surplus

In a moment of bravery, I want to show you what Blureo almost was. We had a lot of logo variations for the logo before landing on our current identity. But our critical abilities and experience helped us deem them surplus to what we wanted to transmit.

One of the first explored logos was a play on type. It used a fortune cookie type of effect to encapsulate the entire name inside of the first letter. The reason we deemed it surplus was that it was not too dissimilar from beats, and a quick reverse image search revealed many other brands use the same geometrical b to identify themselves. A second problem with this logo was that the two cuts within the type were a little excessive, creating an unfortunate visual effect whenever the type was displayed in full.

In terms of name, our current name evolved from Blureto, which was a bit more strong in terms of sonority. We deemed it not so important as to have an extra letter, and also found some people might have issues trying to pronounce it. The t in Blureto was surplus.

Then there were the Blureo bubbles at a 45 degree angle. This was way too dynamic for the type of message and stability we were trying to convey, and also had composition problems integrating into different types of logo orientations.

Then we tried integrating the bubbles into a negative space inside another shape, which looked way too playful for our company and goals.

Finally, the color. We changed the color from the magenta red to the blueish purple you can see now, and added an orange accent, which could serve well when we really want to be more playful or dynamic, but set the general tone to be trustworthy and differentiated.

Now that you’ve seen us fail in creating a symbol that would last for our brand let us see the success story behind the current logo.


The Beauty

Our current logo is the accumulation of lessons learned from all of the mistakes above. We made it positive space as it was much clearer, we stuck to a vertical alignment of the bubbles, we used the word Blureo instead of Blureto, left the type simple and legible, made it purple and there you go: a very clear and fluid representation of seeing through blur, created by carefully aligning and sizing six circles.


The End

I hope both this brave case study and the examples before are going to be of use when you orient towards a new identity, a new marketing strategy/campaign, or decide upon who would best handle the design of your next big idea. I know how hard it can be to orient yourself and your business in this blurry landscape filled with information and initiatives, so unblur your lines, accept there’s beauty and there’s surplus in almost any idea, and see you next time.


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