The Story Behind our Logo
When you think about inclusivity, there are always a few common themes and images that arise, such as a visibly diverse set of people, people holding hands, rainbows, and circles—SO many circles. While all of these images are popular for good reason, we wanted our brand to expand the idea of what inclusivity means and the way it is visually represented.
We started our Discovery process by brainstorming some words that spoke to us about who we are and how we wanted to be perceived:
Using these ideas as the basis for our branding strategy, we worked to build a logo that was modern, geometric, and that spoke to the idea of interconnectedness, while still being accessible and approachable.
Our discovery session also included developing a list of potential use-cases for our logo. This was an important step, as we needed to ensure the logo we designed could be successfully applied to a number of different scenarios, given that we have both an online and physical presence for our brand.
RESEARCH, SKETCHING & ITERATION
We began the design process by researching geometric shapes and elements to determine which were naturally occurring in the “McKnight” name, and sketched some options. We worked with the unique triangular shape of the “M” to form a series of simple interconnected triangles that not only looked modern, and referenced the “M” in “McKnight”, but also the upside-down triangle shape that is often used in Diversity & Equity symbology to represent equality. To achieve a more approachable aesthetic, we finished the icon by softening all of the harsh angles with rounded corners.
We chose to keep the typography simple with two sans serif fonts with a roundness to them that mirrored the “M” icon. By customizing a few select letter forms, the result is easily legible and modern typographic mark that can be used in combination with the “M” icon or by itself.
Finally, we devised a few design options for various use cases:
TESTING & REFINEMENT
We then put our logo to the test. First, we assessed it in-house for scalability, legibility, aesthetic value—and considered various use-cases. Some of the questions we asked were:
Would it be easily recognizable? Memorable?
Would it scale well to a letterhead or business card and look as crisp as it would on a screen (which can be magnified if necessary)?
Would it work in black & white or does it rely on colour to convey its meaning?
Would it work in various formats, such as a circular social media profile image or in the navbar of a website?
Does it have a fixed orientation, or could it appear both horizontally and vertically when necessary?
And ultimately, does it convey the brand values that we chose in our Discovery session?
To answer this last question, we put it out into the world! We gathered a group of diverse users from our networks from various industries and backgrounds and asked them to critique the logo in various forms and formats. It was important to user-test our logo with people who had the potential to be future clients (people who might have a current or future need for design services) to ensure that our design was appealing to our target market.
In the end, by engaging in a thorough process of Discovery, Research, Development, and Testing, we were able to design a logo that effectively communicates who we are and what our clients can expect from us.
A logo is a doorway to your brand, and we wanted ours to be accessible, inclusive and always open.
If you’re in need of a new logo, or your current logo could use a refresh, we’re here to help! Contact us to discuss your project and get a free quote.