LearnCarsonified rebranding process: part 10


writes on September 10, 2007

By Elliot Jay Stocks

Everyone liked the direction I started to explore with the ideas you can see at the end of the last post; the bolder, more immediate direction was starting to remain legible and recognisable at smaller sizes, and it was less ‘fussy’ than the more insignia-like ideas. However, a couple of the guys thought that the insignia idea hadn’t really been explored fully yet, so I returned to using a more prominent flourish and attempted to wrap the whole thing in a more visible ‘shape’.

I wanted to keep the decoration to a minimum because I felt that too much of it would simply push the logo towards something too antiquated; it was all about getting the balance right and evoking a sense of classic cool blended with forward-thinking modernity.

In an attempt to reference the ‘home-made’ approach, I carried forward the brush idea from the previous designs and I think this mix of the three elements – the modern type, the classic flourish, and the hand-made paint – has really started to form the strongest ideas so far.

Continue reading to check out the images. As always, you can see the full-size versions on our Flickr account.

Stage 1

Stage 2

There’s still work to do, of course. Let us know your thoughts!


Learning with Treehouse for only 30 minutes a day can teach you the skills needed to land the job that you've been dreaming about.

Get Started

0 Responses to “Carsonified rebranding process: part 10”

  1. Thanks, Elliot. I agree budget, timescales etc dictate a lot. I guess the “no end in sight” thing comes from the micro level of communication you’ve been providing. I for one, enjoy it, and quite frankly, am dissapointed when there is not a new post for a few days.
    To that end – get to work, let’s see some more process. I enjoyed the videos, although I appreciate they take more effort to post.
    I remain, interested, supportive and in anticipation of the next step!

  2. @ Brian#2: Although I understand that it’s not necessarily clear form an outside perspective, I still maintain that we haven’t actually spent that long on the rebranding process, because of all the other things we’ve been doing at the same time. However, purely for argument’s sake, let’s assume that this has taken a while.

    In that circumstance, I would most certainly have put as much time and effort into the same project for a SME up to the point that budget and timescale would allow. It goes without saying that if the budget and timescale only equated to three days, they would not get the huge amount of variation that we’ve been experimenting with here. But equally if they gave me a year to do it, the opposite would be true.

    To be honest, it’s all a bit hypothetical, isn’t it? 🙂 All I can say is that I’m grateful for the resources we’ve been allowed to allocate to this project, and I’m grateful to the rest of the team for not wanting me to stop until we’ve got it right. With other projects on the horizon, it’s a brave move to make, but like I said before, it’s made slightly easier by me being an in-house (rather than freelance) designer.

    One last thing: You (and a couple of other people) mentioned there being “no end in sight”, but there most certainly is. Even though we’re still working on the next stage of the process, we think it’s clear that the ideas have been showing progression. Even in their sometimes oppositional aesthetic directions, the ideas of what we want to convey (and avoid) have been becoming clearer and clearer; especially if you read the images’ accompanying commentry on my last few posts.

    Thanks for making this an in-depth discussion! 🙂

  3. Elliot, appreciate the feedback. My point was more that small companies don’t have the budget that Adobe has. So, yes, everyone should get the same job. But the real world says that the local man who owns the small factory will not have the budget that Adobe/MS/GSK/IBM have. Yet, he is in essence, asking for the same thing. He therefore cannot get the same quality of service because he will not be paying as much.

    I think you will find that Blue Chips spend way longer on rebranding because they have more people who need to approve the process and in some ways may respect the process more. It’s not an even playing field.

    What I really want to know is, would you do all that you are doing for Carsonified, in the same way, for a small business and/or for a blue chip? ‘Cause you’re putting an awful lot into it (as others have commented, we’re on part 10 and still apparently not that close to final sign off) and I can’t see how you could get paid for all that effort from an SME.

  4. Thanks for your feedback, everyone.

    To those of you who’ve commented on the company, the umbrella brand, the name change, and anything to do with the business itself, I’ll direct you to Ryan’s latest post.

    To everyone who’s commented on the actual designs and the creative process, please read on…

    @ Matt, David, Colin(1) and Garrett: Thank you for the support. 🙂

    @ Brian(1): While I disagree with you about that logo looking like ‘Word Art’, I do agree that there are legibility problems with that angle and with all that stuff going on around it. The direction we’re now pursuing solves those problems.

    @ Brian(2): We’re working on other projects at the same time as the rebranding, so technically it’s not taking that long. However, branding is a vitally important act in whatever circumstance; there’s no reason why a blue chip company should spend longer on it than a small company. For instance, if you worked in a 5-man agency, would you aim to put out work that was not as good as, say, Adobe? I would hope not. If you have the resources to do it (and we do, because I’m in-house rather than a freelancer), spend as long as you need to get it right.

  5. Colin and Brian – neither of you should comment about other people’s names. . . really. . . never comment.

    Not when you will spend your life being called Colin and Brian.

  6. I’m still not sure about the name – but that’s totally subjective. I’m a little concerned at the time this has taken to “evolve”. I’d love to know, Elliot, is it usual for you to take so long to evolve the concepts or is this more difficult because of the blog and the fact that you work for the company etc. My problem is that I don’t know how you could charge back for all the concepts/thought process/stages in this and make a profit. Fine if you were doing a Blue Chip rebrand, but not so for a smaller company, I suspect. Would you be able to share the man hours/time spent/costs on this? Would you be able to justify this to a (third party) client?

    As for Brian et al comments:

    “. . . For example, me naming a company “Brian” would be a pretty bold move even though my first name is very common; it is common for people but uncommon for a business. ”

    Bold indeed. I think it is tragic to be called Brian. You have my sympathies!

    But actually, I quite like the idea of a Brian brand. Do you have a logo, it could be a great company?

    How’s about Brianified, too?

  7. Thanks for the view into the process. It’s interesting.

    Not that my opinion matters but… this is “part 10” and I am still not on board with the need to invest so much time and energy into changing the so-called brand of your umbrella company. Might not this be better spent building the brands of your properties?

    It doesn’t seem to me that your properties are so numerous and convoluted that an umbrella brand is truly necessary to sort them out (ala Microsoft).

  8. 100% agreement with Brian and Jeff. Great points.

  9. I agree with Brian, especially the unnecessary umbrella brand. Usually, large corporations are the ones who make this misstep, not small ones (Marriott, I’m looking at you and your soup can logos).

    DropSend has a personality, and it’s different from Amigo, or Vitamin or Carson Workshops. Why united them under a single uberbrand? There’s literally no reason to do it.

    This is a bad idea. The logo is fine, but trendy. It will need to be redone in a couple of years. Worse, it’s completely at odds with the other Carson brands.

    I see behavior like this, and it tells me the company in question lacks direction. Instead of focusing on the real work, they spend a bunch of time and resources messing with stuff like this.

  10. Are you guys looking at the same “last sketch” as I am? The tilted one? I think there is a good reason that we don’t see many WordArt-esque logos like that: they are unreadable, and they waste space. In this example, everything after “n” is nearly impossible to read. Plus, word art is tacky.

    Anyway, I think this series of blog posts shows that the logo, despite artistic virtues, is not going to make up for the horrible choice of name. Maybe that was the designer’s intention all along; if so, well played!

    Name+common suffix is a long-played-out weblog naming cliche. “Carsonified.com” demands a tagline “because Carson.com was already taken.” There are probably hundreds of businesses with a name starting with “Carson;” the whole idea of trying to build a brand around such a common name is ridiculous. In particular, odds are that every large business in the US and the UK is already doing working with a “Carson*.” Plus, they probably have several Carsons on staff. It is a lost cause, much as if I tried to start a company named “Smith .”

    Ryan’s name is double-bad because he has “two last names.” For example, me naming a company “Brian” would be a pretty bold move even though my first name is very common; it is common for people but uncommon for a business. But “Ryan,” well, there are probably as many “Ryan *” companies as there are “Carson *” companies.

    In fact, it seems your company would be better off with a name including the word “Future” in it. Your conference brands are “Future of *” and you need to boost your trademark claims on this pattern to guard against other companies branding their conferences “Future of *.”

    The other businesses already seem to have their own unique, bold brands. It would just be confusing to add an over-arching brand to DropSend, for example. Why spend time, money, and effort to brand its fine print?

    In short, Ryan’s name is not a good one to build any kind of brand around, and that branding is not necessary anyway because it is just a shallow attempt to unify a bunch of business that have almost no relation to each other (from the customer’s prospective).

  11. I agree with Colin, that last sketch is looking sweet!

  12. I’ve been lurking through this process’s documentation and I finally like where it is going. I thought the earlier direction was way too Baseball team, and the insignia idea seemed off, but I’m diggin’ the bottom-most sketch here. It’s dynamic and manual–good motion–good character.

    Keep ’em coming.

  13. I agree with karl… if nothing else break with the “carsonified-rebranding-process” titles. It was an overkill after part 4

  14. I totally agree Matt. Karl’s comment was uncalled for.

    I like what you’re doing Elliot and the logos look fab! 🙂

  15. no matter what you do, i think you should spend more time working on your blog logo.

  16. That is pretty rude and unnecessary, Karl. This is the process that Carsonified has chosen to design their new image. It is a great insight into the development of their branding, and gives a great sense of community. To have the nerve to come here and say such things is neither respectable nor appropriate.

    In fact, it is outright disgusting.

  17. Is there any way I can get you guys to stop posting this stuff? Simply unsubscribing would not do justice to my desire to get rid of it. It’s not simply that it’s in front of me, it’s that it exists in the world at all.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

man working on his laptop

Are you ready to start learning?

Learning with Treehouse for only 30 minutes a day can teach you the skills needed to land the job that you've been dreaming about.

Start a Free Trial
woman working on her laptop