Behind the Re-Brand

Behind the Re-Brand

David Suydam

We recently hit CTRL+ALT+REFRESH on our brand and logo. Take a behind the scenes look at the different elements that went into the process.


When the Architech logo was originally created in 2013 we were an engineering-only organization. The rounded triquetra we chose for the logo was meant to represent partnership and continuity in technology. Since then, the industry has shifted, design has evolved, and technology has become deeply intertwined with strategy and design. Meanwhile, Architech has grown and matured into a full-service user-centred strategy, design, data, and software engineering studio - but our brand stayed a little behind the times. Needless to say, it was time for a change.

Research:  

While we knew the brand needed a refresh, our core values would remain the same, and we needed to figure out how our brand fits in the continuously evolving cross-discipline tech environment. So, we dove into the research abyss: competitor research, global design trends, industry design trends, focus groups, brand personality assessment, etc. All of this background helped refine our core messaging.

Tone:

To show the tone of our brand, we created two mood boards :

The first was classic, clean, and strong, with a slight futuristic quality evoking our technical expertise and professionalism;

  • The second was more playful, warm, upbeat, and authentic showcasing passion.

The final product was a combination of the two:

  • Simple: to be easily understood, communicate ideas quickly, and be open and approachable
  • Bold: to standout in a saturated industry, appear confident and strong, and illustrate our ability to take risks
  • Modern: to keep step with the ever-changing world, appeal to various audiences, and maintain relevance 

Name: 

Our name, Architech, wouldn’t change – but since its inception, the company has evolved and now involves four practice areas – design, strategy, engineering, and cognitive analytics. We needed to make sure that however we designed our logo it had longevity AND read as Arch-i-tech (not Architect).  

The Logo:

Our original logo was a combination mark. We made the decision eliminate the symbol and develop a strong, bold word mark logo that could stand out against other industry logos. The tilt in the H was an evolution from the slash, a nod to design, and subtle way to encourage proper pronunciation (architeCH, not architecT). The goal was to have a simple logo that can live through time and have the design system evolve around it as needed. 

The Colours: 

Colour decisions were surprisingly challenging. We were looking for colours that weren’t as common in the industry and colours that had longevity.

Our new colour palette is based on black and white shades, and accented by bright colours based on a set of combination rules (ie. no red on yellow), and accessibility considerations. Knowing that our brand is often seen online, we decided to use HEX #151515 for black to ensure better readability (pure black is quite harsh on the eyes when read on screen).

Typography:

Drawing on the classic typography principles a type combination was chosen: serif and sans serif. A wide variety of fonts has been considered and tested, we were looking for a typeface that has a little bit of character, nice kerning and tracking sensibility, and is fully web-safe. Select options were tested in context. We paid particular attention to how long it took to read a paragraph and which letters were tripping people up (in many cases it was q and g). The two undefended contenders were Raleway and Noto Serif.

Raleway was chosen as the primary font and is meant to be used for headlines in heavy capitals (complimenting the logo). It is a simple, strong type with added character and beautiful ligatures. The secondary font, Noto Serif, is a modern take on a classic serif, it’s a web-safe font chosen for its excellent legibility and cross-device consistency.

Secondary Elements

The secondary elements, similarly to secondary colours, are meant to be used as accents. Slashes to divide thoughts or emphasize ending; thick underlines to divide content (H1 to P) or accent on words; and red chevrons as directional elements or less frequently design accents. A custom Slash Pattern was created to add personality and variety to the background.

Our Brand at Work 

With new rules and guides in place, we went full speed ahead with the rebrand. Months of preparation resulted in an overnight swap of everything old into everything new; a new look, new office art, new swag, and a refresh attitude.