Over the past few weeks we’ve had the pleasure of working with a local early learning center called Imagination Station. Their company has two locations based in Snoqualmie and North Bend, WA. They first approached us for help with designing a new modern website to represent their company and brand.
As we always do when starting a new website design project, we asked if they already had a logo design for the company. It’s very common for our clients to need a new logo design to complement their new website. But in this case we were pleasantly surprised to find they already had a great logo design in hand. There was just one small problem… the logo was completely monochromatic (one color) and using a color that was out of gamut (not a proper CMYK color).
Despite their logo having a great design, it lacked a color design; and color is one of the most important ingredients in any successful logo. We knew that in order to design their website that their logo would have to have an attractive color palette. In fact, the company logo is almost always the single source of color inspiration when we’re designing a website. With this in mind we recommended a Logo Color Design project so that we could improve this otherwise fantastic logo.
Here is what their logo looked like before we started…
We were really facing two challenges to improve this design… the first was to improve the kerning (the spacing between the letters), and the second was to create a new color design. We noticed right away that the kerning was a little too tight, which resulted in a crowded look and feel. When kerning is set too small, this can also cause problems when the logo is presented at smaller sizes (such as on a website). Our first step was therefore to carefully set the kerning and allow for a little more breathing room.
When designing the new colors we had several goals in mind…
- We needed industry appropriate colors that were both fun and playful.
- We needed colors that weren’t overly bright or that over-powered the design.
- We needed at least one neutral color to balance the more fun colors.
- We needed to ensure the logo projected an overall professional look and feel.
- We needed to ensure the colors were in CMYK gamut for printing purposes.
After several tries we created a total of five unique fun colors and one neutral color, a charcoal (80% gray). We found that in this particular design the fun colors looked best if they were completely surrounded by the neutral color. The helped to keep the fun colors under control, and maintained a professional look and feel.
While we liked all five of the original fun colors, we found that it was a little too much when presented in the single word, “Station.” The decision was made to only use three fun colors and then repeat the order of those colors in each letter. This allowed us to start and end the word “Station” with the same color, helping to enclose the design even more.
Ultimately we achieved this bold new color design…
This new color design really embodied the perfect balance between fun and professional, and we were all extremely pleased with the results! We now have a logo with an inspirational color design to help shape the website, and more importantly to project the culture and personality of this imaginative company.
As I said earlier, color is one of the most important aspects to a successful logo, and it is far too often overlooked even in some of the finest designs. Whenever we’re designing an original logo we devote an entire stage of the design process exclusively to determining the colors, which we call a “color study.” By taking the time to carefully select the colors, we achieve a far superior result.
Ultimately a logo’s colors are the company’s colors, and no logo is complete without making sure they properly represent that company. In the case of Imagination Station, we now have colors that will inspire the imagination of everyone who sees them!