Brand Identity, Logotype
Art Direction, Graphic Design
GoCanvas (formerly 'Canvas') is mobile forms company that prides themselves on their products’ ability to empower efficiency to varying business types and sizes. With the impending update to their old website the company had finally decided to update its brand identity.
My role is to art direct and lead design to improve and iterate on the brand identity with the help of the rest of my design/ux team.
Canvas, has a long had an identity crisis because their goals were very loosely defined. From it's inception, things were put together as-needed, with tight deadlines and without brand impacting consideration. For a small company that was just finding its feet, that was sufficient back then. Today however, the company stands at over one hundred employees and has grown another office internationally. It was time. The company name 'Canvas' wasn't reflected in the website url (www.gocanvas.com), other well known companies were using the name 'Canvas' and as a result search engine optimization dropped Canvas to the third page on Google. All of these issues impacted user clarity on what Canvas is and ultimately starting affecting trial signup numbers.
The first step was clear; the company had to change the name. The marketing director had a meeting with the CEO and quickly gave a summation of the prior points. The CEO agreed--Canvas was changed to GoCanvas. Subjectively, he was tied very strongly to the old, so that was a challenge that our team was aware of going in. We began sketching to generate ideas–good, bad, and ugly.
The team and I had plenty of options with promise, but we were all struggling with making sure that the core value of GoCanvas was being communicated. “Empowering every business to expedite their processes..” A thought crossed my mind. Every business? Each business has its own processes and own procedures, how can we possibly fit into all those different contexts? Our product would have to be limitless in terms of its' agility.
I communicated this concept with the team and we all agreed. The next step was to divide and conquer; individually we would refine our each interpretation of the concept and have a critique. From there we could select the most appropriate choice and address anything that was needed.
For my sketch, I wanted to make sure that the identity mark told a story of where we had come from and where we were going. I started breaking down how the old logo was constructed and looked at it in its basic geometric form. Combining that and the direction that I had communicated to the team I came to a more refined solution.
I tried to combine the letterforms of "GO" with the infinite symbol. I went back in the files and grabbed the circular grid that the old logo was based on and used it to create simple geometric letters. The biggest challenge was working through how closely the letterforms should adhere to geometric perfection versus straying away to achieve a better visual harmony.
My team also came up with fantastic solutions with the given concept. Together, we had deep discussions about each of them. Does it build potential for a visual system to structured behind it? What should the accompanying typeface be? Does it scale well in different environments? Together, we all hashed out the strengths and weaknesses of each and ultimately we all agreed on a design made by our UI Designer, Lynn Nguyen.
There was a ton of back and forth, quick reviews, and razor thin time constraints that made spearheading this initiative really challenging. Despite this, the result was successful. The previous logo lacked in originality and depth but the new addressed both.
There was so much time spent on achieving success with the identity mark that the typography could use some more work. It will help distinguish the brand as a whole and is paramount in making this a unifying logotype.