Creating a new brand identity for an evolving brand and business
Looka, an AI-powered graphic design platform that provides business owners with a truly unique and premium branding solution at a highly accessible price point. From a logo and business card designs to brand guidelines, a website, and more, Looka gives you everything you need to launch your business in style while being self-sufficient and executing on your own vision. Since launching in November 2016, Looka (formerly Logojoy) has served over 4 million people in 188 countries, generating over 10 billion custom logos and helping thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses get the branding assets they need to succeed from day one.
I was the lead designer on this project. I created the Looka logo and brand identity system.
The challenge of this project was to come up with a new name and create a new brand identity for an evolving brand and business.
The solution was to design the Looka brand identity from the ground up, capturing the new brands excitement and value in a new logo and identity. We then built a highly-effective website that helps educate leads and convert customers.
Why rebrand and change the name?
The first step of this project was choosing a new name. The name Logojoy was limiting. It was too literal by having the word “logo” within the company name. Keeping the same name would hold back the company from expanding beyond logos. Choosing a new name was not easy, we started by going to startupnames.com, doing random searches, playing around with prefixes/suffixes, looking at Latin words, thinking about synonyms/antonyms and all that. There was a checklist that a new name needed to check off: easy to spell (because we’re global), the .com address was available, impossible to mispronounce and ideally short.
With that checklist, a group of us came up with 150 name examples. We all came together and talked a lot about the list — how different names sounded, how did they roll off the tongue? There wasn’t one name where it was, “that’s it!” Initially picking the name Logojoy, it was all excitement because you’re starting something brand new. When you’re picking a new name for an existing company, that excitement is masked by responsibility. From the 150 names, we made a shortlist and had a lot of hallway conversations about those names, making sure there were no negative connotations, looking into what’s available, talking to our investors and holding a vote. We ended up with the name Looka.
Brand Identity System
The Looka brand identity system is made up of 6 core elements
The primary logo for Looka is a combination mark. Together, the logo mark and the wordmark create the Looka combination mark. The logo is simple, bold and unique.
The old logo was not unique or distinctive enough. It did not resemble a brand that you could trust to create a logo for your business.
The new logo is simple, distinctive and unique which allows Looka to be memorable. It represents a brand that you could trust to create a logo for your business.
Logo sketching explorations
I began exploring an “L” shape, abstracting it in any way I could think of to make it look unique. But I didn’t like the “L” on its own — it wasn’t memorable enough. I decided to try two abstracted L’s instead, sketching variation upon variation in my notebook. I knew that if I could represent an L shape in the logo mark then it would make it easier to remember that the mark belongs to Looka because it starts with the letter L.
Logo mark explorations
After sketching out all my ideas on paper I chose the strongest ideas and brought them into illustrator to vectorize them. These were the final 12 logo mark options I created.
After finalizing the logo mark I started to focus on the Logotype. Since the logo is going to used primarily on web I explored clean, and bold sans serif typefaces.
Logo mark competitors test
Before finalizing the Looka logo mark I compared it to its direct competitors to ensure that is was unique and distinctive enough to stand out from its competitors.
Combination mark competitors test
Before finalizing the Looka combination mark I compared it to its direct competitors to ensure that is was unique and distinctive enough to stand out from its competitors.
This is the logo mark for Looka. The logo mark forms the most significant feature of the Looka product and brand identity. It is simple in shape and form but unique enough to stand out and be identified as Looka.
Logo mark construction
This is the grid that I used to create the Looka logo mark. A grid was used to ensure balance and symmetry.
The primary logo for Looka is a combination mark. Together, the logo mark and the wordmark create the Looka combination mark. I chose to create a combination mark logo as the primary logo for Looka because it allows the logo to be versatile and distinctive. It allows the logo mark to be used on its own for smaller sizes while still being distinctive and unique to Looka.
Combination mark construction
This is the grid that I used to create the Looka combination mark. A grid was used to ensure that the logo is balanced optically. The space between the logo mark and wordmark is the as same space between each of the shapes within the logo mark. The wordmark is our brand font circular, with custom adjustments; a lower ascender height and optimal spacing.
With the change from Logojoy to Looka, the blog changed as well. It became its own entity with its own navigation, which meant it deserved its own logo (while still staying consistent with the Looka brand).
Blog logo construction
This is the grid that I used to create the Looka blog logo. A grid was used to ensure that the logo is balanced optically. The space between the logo mark, wordmark and the word blog are the as same space between each of the shapes within the logo mark. The word blog is set in the same font but a different weight to create contrast within the logo.
Meaning behind the logo mark
A logo is for identification, not communication. That being said I wanted to have some sort of meaning behind the logo. I put a lot of thought went into the design of the logo mark. Thinking about how I could create a great mark from a design stand point but also bring some personality and meaning to it. The final logo mark has three main meanings.
1. Letter L - to help brand recognition when the logo mark is used on its own.
2. Human Eye - to represent the “eye for design”. Design is very visual and it starts with your eyes.
3. Hand Framing - Hand framing is very popular when referring to design. This represents setting the canvas with your hands. When people say “look at this” they will hand frame. Play off of our name Looka.
A consistent Identity goes a long way and I wanted to make sure the Looka logo looks equally great at all sizes being used. From the primary logo to the app icon the Looka Identity is consistent and versatile. The combination mark (on the left) is to be used at all times, but at smaller sizes it wont be legible. In that case the logo mark can be used on its own.
Looka’s brand colour is a brighter, more saturated blue, one that straddles the line of purple. The color passes contrast on both dark and light backgrounds, making it eye-catching, fun, and accessible.
Brand colour explorations
Once I finalized the logo I started to explore a brand colour for Looka. I liked the approachability of the Logojoy blue (top middle) but I wanted to explore something punchier. I explored pink, red, orange, blue and purple hues.
Final four brand colour explorations
After exploring hundreds of options I narrowed it down to 4 different colours. Blue, pink, purple and orange. Initially I liked the purple option but felt that purple could have associations with it being "too high-end".
Brand colour test
Before finalizing the Looka brand colour I compared it to its direct competitors to ensure that is was unique and distinctive enough to stand out from its competitors.
Logo Colour Variations
The Looka logo is versatile, it works in 4 different colour variations. The blue is to be used primarily but in cases where the blue cant be applied then the logo can work in black and white as well.
This is Looka’s brand colour palette. The primary colour is Electric Blue, which also serves as the brand colour for Looka. The secondary palette allows Looka to be more flexible and dynamic. The secondary palette features functional colours for the website and app, background colours for company headshots and iconography, and accent colours to be used alongside the brand colour to boost brand awareness and not limit any creativity.
Looka’s brand font is Circular. Circular is bold, flexible and easy to read. It is uniquely suited for a wide range of visual communications. It was designed to maximize its impact across all applications and platforms while keeping it modern, timeless, and universal. Looka anchors on a single brand font used with intention, to drive consistency across all mediums.
This is the type specimen for Circular. The full font name is Circular Standard. It was designed by Laurenz Brunner in Switzerland of 2013. This font is premium font which features hundreds of glyphs.
Brand Font Family
Circular has a big and diverse font family which is one of the main reasons I chose it as the brand font for Looka. The font family ranges from light to black weights with italics for each. This allows Looka to anchor on a single brand font.
To achieve a memorable brand, you’ve have to extend the identity past the logo. The logo is the starting point and the foundation — you can then take elements from it and extend them to every touchpoint with your customer. I did exactly that, I used the shape of the logo mark and created the “L-Frame”. The L-Frame is a graphic element that is completely unique and personal to Looka. The L-Frame helps the Looka brand be unique and distinctive. The L-Frame is used in ads and other marketing collateral. The L-Frame is simple enough to recall it from memory but also adds personality the the brand.
This is the full grid for the L-Frame. It can be used in the orientation shown above as well as the other orientation shown in our full logo mark (flipped 180 degrees), but never both in the same design. This grid is a guide on how to use the L-Frame to keep it consistent and memorable.
This is where to vertically crop the L-Frame. When using this crop, the L-Frame should not be cropped above or below these grid lines. This guide ensures that enough of the shape is shown to help recall it from memory.
There are two different ways to horizontally crop the L-Frame. This is the first option. When using this crop, the L-Frame should not be cropped before or after these grid lines.
This is the second option. This option is for designs that dont work when you crop the L-Frame at the full-width. In this case then you can crop it at half the width of the verticle stroke. When using this crop, the L-Frame should not be cropped before or after these grid lines.
This is where to add a small rectangle fill to the L-Frame. Because the L-Frame is rounded, it creates an awkward white space in the corner. Use this rectangle grid line to fill in this area with the same colour fill as the L-Frame to remove the whitespace. Every single design will need this small rectangle fill added to it.
This is where to add a large rectangle fill to the L-Frame. Because the L-Frame is a fixed height it doesnt work for every dimension ratio. For designs that have long dimensions (notebooks) use this large rectangle grid line to fill in this area with the same colour fill as the L-Frame to remove the whitespace. Only some designs will need this large rectangle fill added to it.
These are the custom icons that I created for Looka. Custom icons create a strong identity and bring personality to the brand. All of the icons are filled icons as they are more recognizable than stroke icons.
All of the icons were drawn using an 8pt pixel grid which is consistent with the grid used for the website. Each icon includes 3 colours and a container.
This is how we constructed our icons, layering elements. Any new icon construction should follow the same steps to ensure consistency.
Icon colour palette
This is the icon colour palette. There are six colours to create diversity. Each colour has 3 tones of that hue to create contrast and depth within the icons.
Looka brand icons
These are all of the Looka brand icons.
Consistent use of imagery can help make your brand distinctive and adds personality. Looka uses imagery on their website, blog and social media. For all of their imagery they must reflect the following characteristics.
Bright & Inviting
Pops of color
Part of this project was to create custom homepage banners for Looka. Below are 4 of the banners I created for them.
Part of this project was to create assets for social. Below are some social media stories I created for Looka.
The final step of the step project was to create branded assets for Looka. This includes business cards, water bottles, notebooks, anniversary boxes, swag, totes, socks and signage.