New Year - New Look

Crowdsourcing Our New Logo

For a long time we've been looking at developing our visual identity. Finding a logo and design that communicates who we are as a company is no easy task.

Instead of doing it the classical way; hiring a designer, and working together to create a design, we decided to try out crowdsourcing.

"We wanted to approach this task in a manner befitting a tech/design startup. From the start we've decided to be curious and playful; embracing new platforms and unusual ways of working, and this just seemed like a good way to 'walk the walk'."
/ Christopher Walsh, CCO

Since we had never tried it before, we were hesitant to press 'GO!'. So we wanted to share some of our insights from this process in this piece.

We chose to go with 99designs.com for our crowdsourcing project.

We chose to go with 99designs.com for our crowdsourcing project.

CCO Christopher Walsh who headed the crowdsourcing effort.

CCO Christopher Walsh who headed the crowdsourcing effort.

GETTING STARTED

Through 99designs we created a competition. The interface was simple and intuitive; select what type of logos you like, play around with some slide-bars, create a short briefing, describe the product, etc. This part was done in 15 minutes, so we were up and running in no time. In all fairness, we had a lot of materials on our site, including a blog that had been running for several months, so it was quite easy for the designers to find something to work with.

We chose to go for the silver package and added a few boost add-ons in order to ensure we would get enough entries. We were worried we wouldn't get more than a handful logos, and wanted to make it attractive. We ended up getting more than a handful. 

A Tidal Wave of Suggestions...

We have been overwhelmed by so many and great logo suggestions: 524 designs from almost 100 designers. After seeing all these logos rolling in, we took the time to look at all of them, rated them and gave as much feedback as we could.

The quality of the logos ranged from brilliant to... well, less brilliant, which we had expected. However, the number of good logos came by surprise. It was not easy to make the decision of which one to choose.

A look under the hood of 99designs - some of logos we rated 2/5.

A look under the hood of 99designs - some of logos we rated 2/5.

Asking the People

At the moment of writing, we're approaching 3.500 followers on Facebook, and we wanted to utilize our following. We selected 8 likely candidates, and presented these to our network. We did get some good engagement on this post and we were provided with a solid picture of what people think. Every part of this process is managed within 99designs, and it's not only a great tool for creating engagement, but it is a no-hassle way of making a difficult decision.

Polling was seamlessly integrated into the process

Medal to the Petal (pun intended)

One logo stood out above the rest. It was a team favorite from the start, so we were happy to see our taste buds weren't completely off. We call it the SHADE 'petals' logo, and it actually depicts the 'Slaatto S1 Silhouette' as seen from below. It can be used on different backgrounds, works in color as well as monochrome, and it has a unique shape which can be used as an icon.

The new "Petals" logo

"Petals" logo on dark background.

"Petals" logo in monochrome

The 'Petals' can also be isolated for use as an icon. 

 

The "Petals" logo won our heart from the very start and we hope you like it just as much as we do. It will accompany us and many of you in the future, full of lights and Shades.

The winner and creator of the logo is a young Indonesian designer, who does most of his work through 99designs, and several of his suggestions rated high; consistency in quality proves to us that this is not just a one-off success, and that we can work with him in the future. 

We're currently implementing it on our social media pages, and will be updating our website within the near future, so stay tuned to see how it is implemented throughout our platform.

Three Tips for Using 99designs

  1. Its quick - but it takes some work: The amount of time it took us to review and rate 500+ logos is significant. We also found that interacting with promising designers, giving feedback, asking for improvements along the way was a good way of improving the overall quality. So make sure you set aside time for the process.
  2. The more you give them to work with - the more you get back: We could see in the designs, that some of the contestants had taken time to go into our website, read our blog, and pick stuff out from all the content we have. The easier it is for them to envision what type of company you want to be, the easier they can design it. Make sure you are well prepared.
  3. Interact along the way: As mentioned previously, asking for improvements, telling contestants what you like and don't like, is really useful. "What would the logo look like on a white background, or in monochrome?" is a question that helps you see the logo in different settings.