When you see the logo of a company – what are your first thoughts? Next time you open Google or Facebook take a second to look inwards and ponder what it is you’re feeling. Because the fact is that logo and those colors were painstakingly crafted to make you feel something. In some cases it may be a sense of elegance or high-class, others a sense of security and trustworthiness – regardless of what it is, blood sweat and tears have been shed into ensuring that when your eyes fall on that icon, you know exactly what to feel and slip right into that mindset.
This puts a company’s brand as priority number one, as it sets the expectation for how customers should feel and, in many cases, can be the difference between an instant sell or lost interest. When Geekbears was first started we were focused on getting our roots set and helping our first clients get their projects underway, and as such branding was not a top priority. However as we grew and established ourselves in the Bay Area, we felt it was time to set in stone who we were.
Our Lead UI/UX Designer Joe Fajnor lead our company-wide rebrand, starting from the bottom and moving up. The first consideration, and one of the most important was choosing the right colors to convey who we were: young, tech-savvy, and reliable. To match these attribute we decided that a blue-green would suit our brand perfectly. Blue is an extremely common color used by many social media platforms to convey trust and calm while green, with its foundation in organic and natural materials, holds a sense of growth and stability. The combination of the two, a minty color, contains all of those feelings while resonating with a sharp freshness.
With our primary color selected, we grounded our color palette with a slightly off-white and a dark gray mixed with some blues to reiterate the calm of our primary blue-green. With our three colors locked in, we moved onto creating our logo. Our old mascot, which had been quickly created a long time ago, had a playfulness to him that we wanted to keep moving forward. However, our former bear was a little too “cartoony”, so we wanted to sharpen him up a bit more and bring him to a more professional level.
We played with a variety of iterations, creating over one-hundred different icons until finally settling on the bear head that we have today. By focusing on just the head instead of a full body, we were able to erase some of the “cartoony” associations. Utilizing some of the most widely recognized “geek” glasses helped bring relatability to the face, and bringing the eyes closer together in the center of the face made his focus fall directly on the viewer. The final choice was whether or not to give the bear a mouth. With a smile on his face, he felt very friendly, but also very two-dimensional. Everything was there for you to understand, he didn’t have anything more to him than just a happy bear. We found that without his smile he gained an air of curiosity that drew the eye in and posed the question – what is he thinking about? Needless to say, we were ecstatic about this, as we at Geekbears pride ourselves on our explorative nature and growth mindsets. By having our logo look just as curious and thoughtful as we strive to be, we had finally come to something that encompassed everything that we wanted: calm, ingenuity, young, and best of all geeky.
Finally, we needed a slogan that condensed our purpose into a small phrase. Easy!
Not really. It took a lot of back and forth, figuring out how we would get people to understand what we were doing. We didn’t want to be seen as just another development agency. We wanted Geekbears to be the team you turn to with your idea, your baby, to bring it to reality. Given the choice, we would rather partner with an ambitious, driven entrepreneur any day before a big contract deal with a company which has no desire to grow. At the heart of it all, though, is the process that comes after we find a partner. From the idea to the design to the developed product. Dream. Design. Develop. Without the courage of some of our clients to pursue their great ideas, we would be nowhere, so it truly all begins with the dream. Then we pull that idea from thin air into a tangible design, focusing on aesthetics and usability to create an amazing product. Finally, we pull from the wide skill set of our team, developing something that users across the world can utilize to improve their lives. No step is as important as the others and combined they describe why we at Geekbears show up to work every day.
Armed with our new suite of branding we then made sweeping changes to all of our old collateral, most importantly: our website. For over two months we went back and forth as a team working on a site that would tell people more about our team and our principles, but would be a platform for us to show off some of our greatest projects. In addition to our new logo, slogan, and colors, we made use of angled leading lines in our site to guide visitors on a journey through the different pages of the site. By using a variety of styles for different sections on each page, we increase the visibility of each screen with heavy contrast and prompts the user to continue scrolling and delving deeper into who we at Geekbears are. To see for yourself, jump over to www.geekbears.com!
Interested in working with the kind of team that you just read about? Don’t be afraid to reach out about any idea you might have!