In case you missed it in the banner image sitting atop this blog, we've been very busy little bees here at Born to Design. Several months ago I had merely wanted to refresh the symbol potion of our logo. I came up with something that I was happy with – but the process had taken me down an unexpected road that I felt led to explore further. That road brought us here, to a new and wholly different brand identity. And it is indeed a long way from where we started.
And yet, this feels like much more than just a new coat of paint. More than just a rebrand. More like a rebirth. It's hard to describe, but there's a renewed enthusiasm around this launch that has me as energized as I was when things were just getting started.
Which is another reason the timing of this feels right; this year we're celebrating 15 years in business. To be honest, that had kinda snuck up on me. But it was back in 1997 that I was blessed with the opportunity to leave my position as Creative Director at Tavel Optical Group and take a giant leap of faith to go out on my own. And what an incredible journey it's been.
As I was processing all of this, I thought it would be fun to launch the new identity with a nostalgic look back at the evolution of the brand.
For starters, back when my now-13-year old daughter Alex was just north of one year old, I sat her on our kitchen floor, grabbed the camera, spread out some crayons by her and started shooting. The image that opened this post (never shown in full color before) was among those shots, and has been a component of our marketing materials and collateral ever since.
But even before that, a baby has been a part of the vision for our identity. That's due to the answer I always gave when someone would ask how long I had known that I wanted to be an artist – "...ever since I could hold a crayon" was always the answer, and the truth.
So in 1997, with the thrill of the leap still fresh, I grabbed my sketchbook and started working out design concepts (the same way I still do today). The sketch to the left was used for a very short time as is, but it's really the genesis of what would become the first Born to Design logo.
This was the first real Born to Design logo. It was really just a refinement of the initial sketched idea, but it felt much more official. It was also a little indicative of some of the identity work I was doing at the time. Still, in the end (pun intended), it felt like me (other than the fact that I didn't work in the buff... and, for the record, I still don't).
Around the year 2000, I felt like I had really outgrown the initial logo. My work had grown as well and I felt that, ironically, the first logo was a box I needed to break out of. I needed something that would stretch and grow as I would. My love for 40's and 50's era design aesthetics influenced what would be the Born to Design logo for nearly 12 years.
Around the beginning of 2012 the typography in the logo was beginning to feel dated. Honestly, I'm not sure if it truly was, or if I had just lived with it for so long that it no longer felt fresh. Either way, I set out to slap a fresh coat of paint on things, while keeping the same visual vibe (maintaining brand equity, as I would tell a client).
As I explored the new direction that the update process had taken me, it became clear pretty quickly, that this last logo was only going to be a transitional design; a stepping stone to something new and completely different. It's been very encouraging to hear what the few folks that have seen a sneak preview have had to say. It's exciting to finally unveil it to everyone else!
The new brand is such a departure from the old one that it required a complete, from the ground up, redesign of our website as well. That has now launched and we'd love it if you hopped over to born-to-design.com and took a gander at that too.
And while you're at it, click over to our Facebook page and give us a "like". That's all freshly rebranded as well.
Thanks for strolling with us down memory lane. It's been fun looking back at where we've been – but not nearly as fun as anticipating what lies ahead!
We have come a long way in 15 years...
And we're just getting started!