The Cassie Reid Counseling rebranding project is live on The Work. This project actually launched in late 2012 but we just put the finishing touches on some final pieces for their new branding. Learn more about the development of their new brand identity.
Filed Under: Branding, Clients, Digital, Identity, Logos, Print, Website Design
The beer brands that will launch from Grapevine Craft Brewery have been unveiled! Their brewery is under construction this summer and they plan on being fully operational by fall! The brand identity of each beer reflects the history and heritage of the great city of Grapevine, Texas. Check them out on The Work page
Filed Under: Branding, Clients, Identity, Logos, Product
The first brand identity project to launch from The Hive in 2013 is Razor Asset Management. This Southlake, Texas based wealth management firm kicked off 2013 by opening their offices.
Check out more of the brand elements that we developed for this brand identity launch http://www.buzzbombcreative.com/work/razor-asset-management-brand-identityidentity/
Filed Under: Branding, Identity, Logos
Recently Arby’s decided it needed a rebrand. Usually I leave the branding criticism to the numerous blogs out there that do a fine job trashing and praising work in the field, but this time I just had to share my thoughts.
Call me old school if you like, but I’m not convinced that a rebrand is always necessary. That is, unless it enhances and propels a brand into a new direction or improves upon the existing core personality. The Arby’s rebrand does neither in my opinion. Granted I wasn’t in any of the closed door meetings leading up to this change, and I realize we all have emotional connections with brands we love and/or grew up with and, therefore, are unlikely to approve of such a change so my opinion may be incorrect in the long view.
In this post I just want to explain details I see as failure in contrast to the old logo or more likely praise for the previous logo.
First let’s remember those grand old signs that used to be icons of the road. At least in West Texas where I grew up. Here is an image of the sign at the Arby’s in Wichita Falls, Texas (near James Reid’s hometown) which still stands and I hope it continues to stand forever and ever. Side note: it reminds me of an old Denny’s sign that used to be an icon in Amarillo where I grew up. I remember years ago when it was torn down and I still have an empty spot in my heart for it. It had this large ball of lights at the top of its impressive height. For all I know it wasn’t original to that Denny’s, but that’s beside the point.
Anyway, on to the logo. Above are the original logo and new logo side by side for your reference. My main complaint here is with the typography. And by typography I’m not just referring to the letterforms and kerning, but also how it all fits together to create a nice cohesive mark.
When I think of roast beef sandwiches (the reason Arby’s exists and what differentiates it from other fast food shops) I think of the old west. The large brash cowboy hat is a big clue that I’m not the only one. So the first obvious fail in the new logo is in the choice of letterform. Boring sans-serif has replaced a slab serif with personality. Not to mention we lost the capital A which was most likely an attempt to make the new mark more friendly and approachable. I think the previous lettering did that and more.
What’s with the giant apostrophe? And is it supposed to be shiny or is it a vague reference to slicing which is what they’re hanging their brand on in this new direction? It’s huge and cuts into the S and has those weird little notches. The only meat slicing blades I’ve seen are full circles. Now they could have been trying to simplify the mark by omitting what would be highlights on the blade, but they certainly have no problem with a clumsy third dimension as seen in the extrude of the hat. I’m not sure and maybe one day a commercial will come along that explains it to us.
Now let’s look at how the old type fits. Notice the left side of the top of the hat comes down in line with the A. The straight leg helps our brain complete the shape and creates a nice relationship between the hat and the type. It makes them look like they belong together, but they didn’t stop there. The right side of the hat comes down in line with the apostrophe which fits nicely between the Y and S without having an awkward gap between them. The apostrophe carries on to the Y which curves around and gives you a nice connection point with the brim of the hat. This is a classic example of balance, rhythm, harmony and relationship which this new logo lacks. Not only does the new logo lack some, but all manner of balance, etc.
The stroke weight of the old logo and type match well and it seems in order to achieve that in the new logo they added the 3D extrude to bulk up the hat without altering it.
I think this is a good example of how most things are handled these days. Whether it’s typesetting a book, creating a logo or whatever the job may be, today it seems we see a lot of lackluster work in the details in comparison to graphic design of yesterday. I think when designers had to draw everything by hand attention to detail was not easily overlooked. Today with computers it’s much easier to overlook these things.
I love the details. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the details and overlook the big picture. I’d like to think that the work we do here at Buzzbomb is reminiscent of this old school way of working. Details, message and big picture are all important. I can’t say with absolute confidence that we achieve this in every project, but we certainly try. This work is a craft and one I care deeply about. That’s why it pains me when I see bad work and I’m sorry Arby’s, but the new logo is bad work in comparison to the old work.
For another post about this new brand with a bit more info on who’s responsible you can read it over at Under Consideration.
Filed Under: Branding, Logos
This is the latest project to launch from The Hive. It was an honor to work on this project for Kevin Weaver.
Check out the cover design and book layout we developed for Kevin’s new book. Check it out on The Work page http://www.buzzbombcreative.com/work/re_orient-cover-design-book-layout
Filed Under: Branding, Product
Excited to launch another branding & identity project from The Hive. It was an honor to work on this project for New River Fellowship Church in Hudson Oaks, TX.
Check out the branding elements we developed for their coffee shop http://www.buzzbombcreative.com/work/riveroak-coffee-co/
Filed Under: Branding, Identity, Logos
We actually created the brand for Circles Conference in early 2012 but it is just now making it’s debut on our Work page.
Each week for the next 12 weeks we will be debuting a new brand that was either developed recently or sometime in the last year here in The Hive. We hope your eyes enjoy feasting on each new brand as it rolls out.
Learn more about the branding development for the Circles Conference here by going to The Work page,
Filed Under: Branding, Identity, Logos
Yet another branding & identity project launching from The Hive. We actually completed this project early in the fall but have been busy here in The Hive and didn’t have time to post the work! Surgical Esthetics is a Beverly Hills, CA based company focused on regenerative therapies in dentistry.
Check out more of the brand elements that we developed for this brand launch http://www.buzzbombcreative.com/work/surgical-esthetics/
Filed Under: Branding, Identity, Logos
We are thrilled to announce the latest brand identity project to launch from The Hive. Grapevine Craft Brewery launched their digital presence this week with more to come in 2013 as they build their facility in downtown Grapevine, Texas.
Check out more of the brand elements that we developed for this brand launch http://www.buzzbombcreative.com/work/grapevine-craft-brewery/
Filed Under: Branding, Identity, Logos
This past Thursday and Friday brought the first ever Circles Conference put together by Ismael Burciaga. Not only did we create the logo and tag line for the conference, but I was very honored to be asked to speak at the event and stand alongside an impressive lineup of rock star types from the creative world.
I spoke about branding for non-profits. It was a collection of quick tips, our process and a case study of the rebrand we did for RU4Children this year.
Here’s a quick recap of the finer points:
- We need to take branding serious.
- We owe it to ourselves, our clients and the world to go above and beyond. Give 100% to every project. I would say give 110% but we all know that’s just a dumb thing to say.
- Always look to improve the project at hand. Don’t just do what your asked but be a partner that’s looking out for your client.
There were a few other things that didn’t quite make it into the presentation, but I wanted to mention them here.
- Client Relationship Building and maintaining a healthy respectful relationship with your clients should be a priority. Do this through your work ethic and customer service.
- Trends When it comes to branding, leave the trends to the teenagers. Unless you’re building a consumer brand or something intended to be a flash in the pan stay away from trends.
- Purpose Designers, cool should never be the reason you’ve designed what you have. Generally speaking, we are here to solve business problems: create awareness, increase revenue, divert attention away from a fiasco, etc. Cool doesn’t solve business problems, strategy and purpose do.
I hope to speak more in the future. If you would like to contact us for speaking at your event please contact us here.
Until next time people.
Filed Under: Branding, Inspiration
What is a strategy and why does it play such a crucial role in our process? Dictionary.com offers up this very applicable definition of strategy:
“a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result: a strategy for getting ahead in the world.”
Simply, it is having a plan. Everyday, plans are formulated for routine tasks such as what to cook for dinner, how to get the kids up and sent off to school, navigating traffic to get to work or for more complex issues such as starting a new business, or a new product launch.
Presidential candidates have their campaign teams develop new ones to either attack or defend a position. Corporations create one to launch a new product or for damage control. Armies, navies and air forces create strategies to meet a new challenge or to engage the enemy. A start-up business, newly launched non-profit org or a fast-growing church might have missed forming one.
Strategy is part of our everyday lives whether we realize it or not. However, having a great strategy is many times not part of the process. Sometimes this is due to time constraints or not understanding why having a great strategy is important for finding success. We aren’t suggesting that you need to over-think a meal (although we often do when considering a place to dine for lunch each day) but taking time to understand the problem or challenge, formulating a plan and executing said plan will mean the difference between success and failure.
At Buzzbomb Creative, strategy begins the moment we meet a prospective client and is tightly intertwined throughout every step of our process. We want to understand 4 key elements: who, what, why and how. The story. This is because, a brand is actually the story. What was the reason for creating the company, organization or church? What purpose or audience will it serve? The story is what we want to understand, to learn about. Only then, can we begin the journey of creating or refining the brand so it leads to a successful launch or re-launch. We want to get the who, what, why and how moving in the same direction, pulling in unison rather than each part moving in different directions and failing to advance the goals and success of the client.
One example of an established client wanting to update their branding can be found on our work page.
Please read more about our process with clients. We would love the opportunity to create a strategy for your brand whether already established or just a vision that you would like to make a reality. Invite us in so we can hear your story and learn about where you want the story to go. Give us a buzz so we can talk soon.
Filed Under: Branding, Strategy
Welcome to the new and improved BuzzbombCreative.com. With the updated site and rejuvenation of the business we thought it would be a good idea to reacquaint (or just acquaint in some cases) folks with our vision and purpose for being here.
Buzzbomb Creative is a branding, strategy and design agency. Put simply we are here to create and enhance the brands of small businesses, churches, ministries and non-profits. We have a passion for smaller entities and want to help them reach their branding goals. Just because you’re a small company doesn’t mean you can’t be awesome and make an impact.
Let me try to explain it this way. Have you ever had a favorite mom and pop restaurant? The food’s great, the wait staff are awesome and friendly, but their menu, photography and booths are not appealing. Maybe it took you a while to muster the courage to go in the first time, because the place scared you a little bit. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer those places over the big chains. However, I don’t love seeing all the missed opportunities in the mom-n-pops. The food and service are only part of the equation, but they’re missing a huge portion of their market and not realizing their true potential. Generally this happens because of a lack of understanding, a fear of the cost and/or the DIY mentality.
Now imagine that same place, but this time the exterior and interior are visually inviting, the menu is easy to read and the pictures actually look like food you’d want to order. Imagine how many new customers would come in if that initial first impression wasn’t a hurdle, but an invitation. Business would grow, prices could increase, buildings could expand, not to mention the profit growth. Having said that, maybe I’d rather it stay unknown and keep it to myself rather than fight a crowd. Alas, that doesn’t do the owner any good and eventually they’d run out of money and close which means I wouldn’t have it any more either, but I digress.
The point is that every business wants to be successful and building a solid brand that connects with its audience is important. One thing I want to stress is that when I say “branding” I’m not talking about a logo. A lot of businesses understand that they need a logo when they launch, but consider that to be branding.The problem with that perception is that most small businesses, whether that’s a church, non-profit, restaurant, brewery, etc., expect their logo to communicate everything about who they are and why. That’s not the case. The logo is just one small piece of the larger puzzle. Logos are good. Logos are important. I love logos. Logos are one of my favorite things to design. One of these days I’m sure I’ll have a long rant on logos alone, but for now let’s get back to branding.
Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney said,
“A brand is a living entity—and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.”
Strategy, messaging and design all work together to create, enhance and maintain a brand. If your brand is the essence of who you are as a business then logos, websites, videos, print materials, advertising, etc. are all just expressions of that brand. And so are doors, booths, chairs, customer service reps, products, packaging, the voice that answers the phone, you name it. If all of these things matter and your business needs to stand out then how in the world are you supposed to do it all?
You don’t. That’s where we come in. We create unique solutions that amplify your brand’s connection with its audience. Unique and custom tailored to your needs, your message, your vision and your audience. We are thinkers. Sometimes we think too much. One of our favorite clients recently told us, “I’ve never had anyone over-think my business like me other than you!” That’s what we love to hear and, honestly, why would you settle for designers and marketers to help your business that don’t do that?
When we take on a client we don’t think of it as a project. We consider it a partnership. We want to be the branding and communication arm for our clients and create a long lasting relationship that benefits both parties. We do this simply because we can’t perform to the best of our ability without fully understanding our client and sometimes that takes time. As in any relationship, you don’t generally marry someone you’ve been on one date with so why should a branding agency be any different?
So take a look around the site, if you haven’t already, leave a comment, and/or contact us if you’d like to take your business to the next level. We’d love to take you on a date and see what develops.
Filed Under: Branding