A logo is the main identifier of a brand and the company. Consistency with shape, color, and positioning is vital to help build recognition. Much like a name, a logo is for identification, not explanation. It is there to symbolize the quality, tone and motivation of the company. A logo doesn’t literally describe what a business does. Instead, it identifies the business in a way that is recognizable and memorable.
This was our logo for the last five years:
Since starting at Redfin in 2010, it was my personal mission to get our logo updated to the standard of the rest of the company. And as a designer there was much that bothered me.
1. The logo itself was three different colors; with the yard sign there was five different colors. There were two reds that looked the same from a distance, two grays that looked the same from a distance and a pale cream background that looked like it might have been white on better days.
2. Then there was the issue of the “tree.” Due to the placement and size of the extra appendage, the logo never seemed to be in the right spot. The tree also overpowered the wordmark due to its vertical height. If we needed the logo two inches tall…that is the height of the tree while the wordmark dwarfed below it at just over a half inch. Even when we tried to brand pens with the logo, the height of the tree pushed the size of the wordmark so small that it was barely legible. Not cool.
3. Also, what did the tree mean? Is it an oddly shaped man? Is he holding houses or is he about to be crushed by a gray and red hailstorm? What does this have to do with Redfin? There was too much going on.
Time to simplify!
We attacked the color, kerning (space between letters), alignment, weight of the individual letters, and then started to simplify the shape of the letters.
It was at this point in early Spring of 2012 that Tom, our CMO, came into my office and said that we could indeed get rid of the tree on the logo and also create a new a separate logomark (or icon that would be separate from the logo).
Now we’re talking.
We dropped the tree and really zeroed in on the shape and form of the wordmark. We tried accentuating the serifs, dropping them all together and playing with the balance between the “R” and the rest of the word. In the end we simplified the rest of the letters as much as we could to draw more attention to the stylized “R.”
Then we decided to create an icon that could be used in place of the logo for smaller spaces. Since this would be more graphic and not include the full name, we decided to go over-the-top symbolic and really illustrate that we do listings as well as buy-side deals.
We designed a sign-shaped icon focused on the Redfin “R.” We made sure to design it in a square space, so that it could easily fit in the icon spaces for social media, favicon, and other icon purposes.
To round out the family of assets, we also included two other marks: the icon with our url and the logo with our tag line.
We now have a new arsenal of visual branding complete with a new color palette for both print and web.
We’ve already updated all of our printed materials and signage, and the new logo has finally made its debut on the site. Next up is mobile…and then of course roll out the new “RedBrand” across the site. It won’t be easy, but it will definitely be worth it. Chopping that tree down definitely was