Branding vs Logo Design

Branding vs Logo Design

OK, I’ll confess – this is not really a battle. More of an explanation. Being a company that offers branding services, we get a lot of questions about what branding is and how it differs from logo design. The fact is that logo design is part of branding – a large part of it, but still, just a part. A lot of design firms will offer logo design as a service, on par with web design, graphic design, print design and so on. There is nothing particularly wrong with that, but it’s not our philosophy. We feel in order to create a truly great logo that works for a company, you first need to establish the promise and the expectations that will reside in the target audiences. You can’t do that by jumping headfirst into logo design and offering up three designs for your client to pick from. That’s like fighting the competition with a blindfold on.

 

Round 1: Establish your ground

The first step in our branding process is to do a key messaging session with our clients. This helps establish (among other things) key target audiences, points of prides and proof of value statements. This means that when we start the design process we know who we are designing for, what we need to say about the company or organization, and how we’re going to say it. Obviously this doesn’t just inform the logo design, but all marketing materials from the website to print materials and beyond.

 

Round 2: Scope out the opponent

Once the key messaging is established, we use this and the completed client questionnaire to start the design research phase. We want to make sure we understand what the competition is doing, to see if trends are being established but more importantly to ensure we avoid going in a similar direction. There is also a period of more general design research, reviewing past and present design techniques and trends. While we want to create a design that goes beyond a ‘fad’, there is nothing wrong with being informed by what else is currently out there. Industry trends happen for a reason and it would be silly to be oblivious to them.

 

Round 3: A clean strike

Then, and only then, the logo design process begins. Starting on a sketch pad, we go through several iterations, attempting to combine a multitude of concepts and ideas into one simple shape. Something that you could look at for five seconds, then draw it in the next ten from memory. If it’s not that simple, it won’t be memorable. It needs to be memorable.

Once the general concept has been conceived, we move the design into the computer. This is usually done by recreating the drawn design using perfect geometric shapes such as circles and squares – we do this to help keep a sense of synergy, simplicity and symmetry. Now we have created the logo mark, the colour and font research begins. Both need to not only compliment the logo mark, but also speak to the target audiences. This is not something that is taken lightly. Thus begins a process of testing and deliberation.

Branding vs Logo Design - Colour Tests

 

Round 4: Eyes on the prize

The final step in the process is to create the branding vision. Taking everything we have learned so far, we can present the logo design in context. A context that makes sense for the company (we won’t be showing an example of a bus stop ad if you are B2B software company). While I don’t want to delve into all the details (it is our secret sauce after all), our clients receive a true vision piece that gives them the full picture of how we see their brand working across a multitude of mediums, now and into the future.

 

Round 5: KO

In conclusion, branding is the promise – the logo is the vehicle to help deliver that promise. Our philosophy dictates that you need to figure out the promise before a pencil is even picked up. And by the time the design is completed, the answer is so obvious, it has almost drawn itself. This is our process – these are the words we stand by, and what has made us and our clients successful.

 

Jim Hopkins
Creative Director, Baytek

Zestible – Live Website Launch

Zestible Team

The pilot phase is over and Zestible.ca is now live! Congratulations to Val and her team – we can’t wait to start ordering their delicious recipes and ingredient baskets. It was an extremely fun project to work on, and I think you can see that in the branding and the website design. Here’s what Val had to say about working with Baytek on the website portion of the project:

“We hired Baytek to develop a custom e-commerce site for our new food-tech startup. The Baytek team worked very closely with us, guiding us through every step of the design and development phases. They provided guidance, suggestions and advice when needed and always offered perspectives on user experience. We have been very pleased with the quality of their work. Our site, while extremely visually appealing and user-friendly, has specialized functions built into the backend which have increased the efficiency of our operations. I would recommend them to any company looking for custom web developers.”

Val Iannitti
Founder, Zestible

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Bray’s Pool and Spa – New Website Design

Brady's Pool and Spa - Website Design

Who: Founded in April of 1994, Brady’s Pool and Spa Care has been a growing business in the Bell’s Corners area for over two decades. Owner and operator Brady Bryson had his fair share of experience before opening his doors working, and after years in the pool industry, Brady decided to open up a store of his own in hopes that he could fill the need in the market for an experienced retail and service team.

How: In a competitive environment such as the hot tub and spa industry, it’s important to have a website design that stands out – that’s why Brady’s came to Baytek. Using our unique process, we created a beautifully responsive WordPress website design that gives Brady’s the upper edge on the competition. Check out the brand new design using the link below.

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Vortini – New Website Design

Vortini - Website Design

Who: Introducing Vortini – an exciting tool that increases profit through the automation of common sales management tasks and by providing insight into sales and marketing performance. Based in Ottawa, Vortini was originally built around a requirement to better understand sales performance in a very large enterprises.

How: Vortini approached Baytek to refresh their web presence and launch their flagship SaaS offering. The result is a beautiful, responsive website that helps position Vortini as a leader in the sales force optimization sphere. Utilizing modern design and development techniques, and taking advantage of the full screen, Vortini are now equipped with a best-in-class WordPress based website that will help further enhance their sales and reputation.

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Ashcroft Homes – New Website Design

Ashcroft Homes - Website Design

Who: Ashcroft Homes is recognized as one of Ottawa’s most innovative and accomplished builders. Since 1992, the company has built thousands of homes in and around the city; from master planned communities including Central Park at the Experimental Farm, to infill townhome neighbourhoods like Manhattan Square at Bell’s Corners, to cosmopolitan condominiums in desirable urban settings like Byward Market, The Glebe or Westboro.

How: Now on our third project with Ashcroft Homes (having previously launched Alavida Lifestyles and Envie Student last year), we wanted to take their corporate website design to the next level. Blessed with beautiful photography of their developments, and a new stylish brand, we were able to take a full screen approach to the design – hiding away the menu, and allowing ‘call to actions’ to navigate the user through the website. In the back end, we developed a custom community plug into allow Ashcroft to easily add new community pages as they are developed.

“I have worked with Baytek on a couple of projects and have another in the works. They are a great team to work with: professional, flexible, creative, helpful, and knowledgeable. Their websites and design always surpass our expectations and deliver a real wow-factor. And they are a pleasure to work with! The communities/housing plugin is GENIUS.”

Sarah West
Marketing Specialist, Ashcroft Homes

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NACC – New Rebrand and Website Design

National Airlines Council of Canada - Logo Design

Who: The National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC) is an association intended for all air carriers facing similar regulatory and policy issues. All passenger air carriers are eligible for NACC membership, provided that they hold the certifications and licenses required in our by-laws.

How: Baytek did a complete rebrand of their identity, print materials and bilingual website. The result was a clean, fresh new brand which clearly stated their status as the voice of Canada’s largest airlines. The logo mark for the NACC was created to represent a number of ideas – being a Canadian association, an association advocating for the airline industry, and connecting people across the globe. The Canadian part of the mark is represented by the maple leaf, which is a very common symbol associated with Canada. The airline part is symbolized through the darker part of the logo, and also the negative space in the leaf, creating a plane-like structure. The final part is the line in the leaf, representing connections, a path, a horizon line and a journey.

“It was our first foray into such a project and it quickly became apparent that we were in good hands.  Sebastien, Jim and team provided us with the practical guidance we needed and then let their creative juices go to work. I was particularly impressed with their ability to meet our launch deadline as we headed on the home stretch.  The result is a user-friendly, visually appealing and fantastic website.”

Marc-André O’Rourke
Executive Director, National Airlines Council of Canada

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Deprescribing.org – New Brand and Website Design

Deprescribing Logo

Deprescribing.org is a new initiative by the Bruyere Research Institute to support health care providers and patients in reducing or stopping medications that may be harmful or no longer needed. Baytek was brought in to create key messages, a new identity, print materials and a responsive website.

Our ultimate goal was to achieve an abstract shape that had its grounding in something related to deprescribing (a pill). However, we didn’t want the final logo mark to be too literal, because the issue in hand can be a sensitive topic. Anything too obvious could have potential negative connotations. The final shape exudes a sense of calmness and regeneration, and leaves the audience with a positive feeling.

The deprescribing.org project was unique in the respect that it not only did it need to cater to doctors and physicians, but also to the patients themselves. This meant a very careful and deliberate balance was needed for the design of the website – using custom iconography and unique photography treatment, the result is a beautiful, user-friendly website for all ages.

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Turn Water To Gold – New Website Design

Turn Water To Gold - Web Design

Who: Turn Water To Gold invites you to accomplish an athletic feat no Ottawa teenager ever has done — to win the Junior Men and Women’s 8+ races at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in St. Catharines.

How: Turn Water To Gold is an initiative created by the Ottawa Rowing Club to get young rowers involved in the sport. Baytek was tasked with creating a beautiful yet simple one-page web design that would gravitate towards teens as well as their parents, and ensuring the Website design displayed well across all devices. The resulting design is a stunning standalone website design using the developed branding and messaging to create a unique experience for future rowers!

“Just finished our design with Seb, Jim, and Elina from the Baytek team and we couldn’t be happier.  We came to them with a very tight timeline and a fixed launch date. Throughout the entire process, there was always great, open communication and expertise on their end. The design elements were chosen with great care and customized to match our organization’s identity. We wouldn’t change a thing about our new site and would definitely return with confidence to the Baytek team for any future web development projects.”

Glenn Hay
Lead Coach, Ottawa Rowing Club

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Cafe Deluxe – New Brand & Website Design

Cafe Deluxe Logo - Foil Stamp

Who: Established in 2001, Cafe Deluxe opened as a humble restaurant in the heart of Ottawa’s downtown core. They’ve since expanded to offer catering services, but their restaurant remains a local mainstay for new and loyal customers looking for a quick coffee and cookie to go, or a filling, comforting sit-down lunch.

How: Baytek took Cafe Deluxe through a complete rebranding process. The catering part of the business was growing, but their brand was being left behind. Baytek set about putting that right. The formation of the logo mark was derived from three meanings – the idea of delivery and food wrapping, the arrangement of coffee stir sticks, and the symbol of quality. The former is created through the use of twine or string to wrap the packaged food. The wooden stir sticks represent the ‘natural’ world – the ingredients, the flavours. The final idea in the logo is as the star – a symbol of quality, and a symbol of something being ‘deluxe’ – elegant and luxurious. The star represents the quality that Cafe Deluxe offers to its customers – the freshness, the ingredients, the customer service – everything that Cafe Deluxe stands for can be represented by the star. A seal of approval that once the food has left the kitchen, the customer will be guaranteed something tasty, fresh and hand-crafted. Once the brand had been established, we started on a complete revamp of their web presence. The result was a beautiful responsive WordPress powered website with amazing food photography and key messaging.

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CENX – New Website Design

cenx-blog

Who: CENX is a new-generation software company delivering Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) solutions that automate the entire lifecycle of advanced data services in next-generation virtualized (NFV), and software-defined networks (SDN) infrastructures.

How: The brief for the new CENX website was quite simple – bring us up to date, and then put on us head and shoulders above the competition. While functionally sound, the previous CENX website was not representative of the technological leaps and bounds they had been making as a company. Baytek set about to put that right by introducing a beautiful responsive Website design that took advantage of all the latest HTML and CSS technologies. And by utilizing the WordPress platform, the team at CENX can now easily add new landing pages and content with the same design aesthetics as the rest of the site.

“We worked with Baytek to launch a refreshed, CMS-based website for CENX. Seb and the team were superbly responsive, professional, and organized throughout the entire project. They provided expert design advice to give the website a modern look & feel. Furthermore, they showed extreme flexibility, accommodating our change requests and timeline shifts. I felt I was in good hands from start to finish!”

Marie Fiala Timlin
Director of Marketing, CENX Inc.

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