Updating our logomark

Author: James Braithwaite

The more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed our logo has had the benefit of an update. Whilst this may have happened without some great announcement, we don’t make such changes lightly.

A little background

The etymology of our name comes from an amalgamation of words ‘subtract’ and ‘abstract’. It was also in-part due to a fondness for the letters common to the germanic languages – switching the ‘c’ for a ‘k’. Yes, that’s right; we thought German sounding names were cool.

Taking a look back at the definitions:
1. ‘subtract’
v. To take away; deduct.
v. to remove (a part of a thing, quantity, etc.) from the whole.

2. ‘abstract’
v. to draw or take away; remove.
n. an idea or term considered apart from some material basis or object.

We thought these meanings seemed a good reflection of the type of company we wanted to be (and now hopefully have become):

  • We wanted to be a lean company, not a large agency.
  • We wanted to keep things simple. To take away the hype, the fluff and the jargon vis-a-vis many of the typical agencies we saw at the time in the industry.

The previous mark was designed to represent growth. A branching tree, set using the same geometric shapes as the typeface beside it.

Having recently turned 6 years old, we feel we’ve grown a lot. It was time to update our identity to better reflect our ideas.

Moving forward

We combed through more typefaces than we care to remember, and (eventually) settled upon Neuzeit Office (Linotype), a 2006 retool of Neuzeit S™ (D. Stempel AG – Linotype Design Studio, 1966), and before that DIN Neuzeit (Wilhelm Pischner, 1928-1939). A constructed, geometric sans-serif, similar to that of Futura, but preferential for the legibility of certain letters, such as the double-story a.

brand_guidelines-typefaces-1

Neuzeit Office

planning

Design sessions. The beer helped.

In an effort to simplify and give meaning to the name, we thought about how we could subtract shapes from the standard glyphs to create a mark that would be unique to us. We found that removing the left side of the t’s crossbar gave a more pleasing gestalt.

mark-with-marks

Clearance.

To further hone the concept we added a minus symbol above the s. An icon that can be used in it’s own right, it helps to balance the mark, and is a nod to the macron diacritic mark.

substrakt-logo

The new logomark