Logo Rebuild #001

When working with new clients, you often have to work within the confines of their existing branding. On many occasions, that branding is terrible and you just have to deal with it. On other occasions, the idea is there, but not fully developed or simply poorly developed. I recently worked with another design company on a logo, for example. The finished product they sent me consistent of an iconic mark, which I didn’t love and a typeface that was straight out of the box: no kerning corrections, no letter bar or spacing corrections… it was terrible. More terrible yet, they charged a very high price for what I considered a logo that was only half completed.

It is a very rare occasion that a font can be used, straight out of the box, for a logo. I prefer to use fonts as a foundation on which a logo is built.

The logo presented here for a different client of mine, Drive Fitness Design is an example of just that. The client loved his logo until I made him aware of the blaring inconsistencies that compromised its presence. So, I documented a bit of the process involved in taking something mediocre and bringing it to perfection.

Here is that documentation!

Original Logo

1. Here is the logo we started with. Notice the letter width and curve inconsistencies, the kerning in the sub heading, the mismatched service mark font. This logo needed work. Bad.

step one. building the letters

2. The first step in the process for me to to develop consistency. Consistent angles, curves, bar heights and widths… every element of every letter in a logo like this needs to be totally consistent.

curve closeup

3. Here is a closer look at that process. all curves, all elements must be normalized for effectiveness. Every logo, every time.

take it to the letters

4. Once that is done for a single letter, extend that theme, those rules accross all of the lettering.

done. now color

5. then, we start building the new logo. Start with black or grey, then begin adding style elements – colors, outlines shadows, etc., etc…


6. Done. the evolution is complete. Although there was some little additional tweeking, this is a clear illustration of how important the littlest details can change the impact of a logo drastically. How was the logo implemented into collateral? Here are a few samples:


Another, interior page:


And, how did it play out on the web? Well, the current site is NOT the website, but a flash presentation of DFD services. You can check it out here: Drive Fitness Design

The Moral of this study: Even if a client is married to their logo (and you don’t love it) there is always the potential to make it BETTER!


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