Redesigning the Yozu brand

Design // 7th March 2019

Yozu went from a logo with an exclamation mark to a logo…with a full stop. How did that happen? Like with most things that seem simple at first sight, there is a lot more to the story.

As we continue to grow and expand our areas of focus, we update our core offering. Because of this, we want our brand to best reflect why we exist, what we believe in, and where we’re headed. We see our brand as an ongoing project, one that will evolve and change, just as people and companies do.

We have taken a step forward with a new logo and identity. It marks a new chapter in our ongoing mission to deliver the very best software products.

 

The Yozu logo and identity

About 6 months ago, we began redesigning our brand and all other assets including this very website! Our previous website was ‘doing a job’ but it wasn’t breaking new ground. It wasn’t showcasing who Yozu are, what we are capable of, and what we have done for our clients. So, we set out to create a brighter, cleaner, and more contemporary version of ourselves.

A refresh meant creating a new colour palette and illustration style, whilst maintaining consistency with our logo…or create a one. Yozu needed a strong foundation but it was unclear if we should patch up the logo we had or create a new one from scratch. As you may have noticed, we opted for the second option!

We made the new Yozu logo the heart of the redesign. The old red, wavy, ‘new kid on the block!’ version made way for a solid, structured and sophisticated one. The exclamation mark has gone and, in its place, a full stop. The full stop is a play on no longer needing to look any further.

full stop noun  used to suggest that there is nothing more to say on a topic.

We chose a tone of red that was less shrill. Red symbolises energy, passion, desire and confidence. We also adopted purple to symbolise wisdom and creativity. These are all things that our company and team carry and value.

 

design team

 

So, how did we do it? A brief overview.

 

Step One: Understand our brand and our offering

At the start we asked one simple question:

“If Yozu were a person, what would they be like?”

From this question, we started to understand the qualities and values we wanted to portray and embody. It also helped us understand the type of personality that we felt was right for us. Qualities and values sit below the surface and provide a great foundation whereas our personality is always on display, it gives our clients their first impression of who we are.

 

Step Two: Ideas and teamwork

We have a great design team with a wealth of experience in a variety of disciplines (UX/UI/Print/Illustration). Once we understood how we wanted to portray our brand, they got to work. Each member of the team created design concepts which reflected both their style and what they envisioned Yozu’s new style to be.

These options were narrowed down to five possible style directions. All of the team at Yozu came together to vote on which style they thought best suited the company and established which option was the best to pursue and refine.

 

Step Three: Develop our visual identity

It was now time to start translating everything we had so far into one cohesive identity, our logo was the perfect place to start.

After some time brainstorming and experimenting, the design team proposed three logo directions.

These are those options:

 

design team

 

All the options vary – they also went through variations throughout the process, but one stood out from the rest. The version that stood out in those initial options is the one you know and, hopefully, love today. It remained largely unchanged from initial concept through to production.

A logo alone does not make a brand, so we adopted a new typography and colour system. We also decided to design our own illustration style that could be used for all assets (website and print).

 

design team

 

Step Four: Brand all things

From the start, only a full roll out of the redesigned brand would suffice. We weren’t prepared to just drop a new logo onto the existing website and swap out some colours. Hoping to be successful isn’t good enough. This project needed some attention.

So, for the last few months, we have been working to apply the new brand redesign across all areas of Yozu, from a new website, business stationery, and social graphics. It’s been a lot of work and some elements still need to be revisited and refined. Nevertheless, we’re sure you’d agree, it has been completely worth it.

 

Advice for your brand redesign project

  • Involve a wide range of people as early as possible, so the whole company feels part of the process. It’s worth it!
  • Give yourself time to warm up to a concept, you won’t always find the correct answer right away!
  • Get solid and varied options. You won’t know what is right unless you have solid options to choose from and variety helps you cross off certain directions.
  • Trust your team’s instinct. Your team is great – if they weren’t you wouldn’t have hired them. Let them have some fun with it.
  • Revisit your core identity. If you did that part right, it should give you constant guidance when you’re not sure where to go.
  • Make clear and timely decisions. Have clear decision-makers who can act in a timely manner – it is very rare to have ‘forever’ on a rebranding project.
  • Have fun!

 

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