Cloth Cat Animation – Birth of a Brand

It is always something of an adventure re-branding or creating a brand for a new company. There are always a specific number of elements to include, colours palettes to use (and ones to avoid!), shapes, styles, ethics and aspirations (the list goes on) when trying to create the artwork that will represent and be the non-human face of the company for an indefinite amount of time. It is by no means a quick and easy task. We haven’t even taken into account opinions of the designer, the other team members, supervisors and the managers who will all have an idea of what the logo must say about the company. Bringing everyone on side and loving the brand is the main objective.

Cloth Cat Animation immediately gave us three key words that the logo should reference. Being an animation studio, and looking at the vast array of other similar companies and their branding, it was obvious that it needed to be colourful, fun and striking.

“Cloth Cat is an exciting, innovative and experienced studio with a quickly expanding portfolio of high profile jobs so it was essential that the company would look professional and be taken seriously at the same time as being vibrant, eye-catching and recognisable.”

cca_blog_boab_002Whilst researching brand design and the most frequently used colours it was becoming increasingly evident that reds and blues were the most popular. Colour psychology tells us that reds means strength and are attention grabbing and blues are synonymous with business, evoking calmness, confidence and success. These colours mixed with the fun and youthfulness of orange, the playfulness of yellow and freshness of green and we had our palette!

“This was by no means set in stone though; the hue, brightness and shades changed constantly, red even being dropped from the final brand altogether as you can see from our finished logo.”

Cloth and Cat were yet to play a part so it was time to start playing with textures, patterns and textiles. Oh and to design the feline element! We wanted a subtle hint at fabric, steering clear of patterns that could confuse people as to what was the main industry of the company. So, no to gingham, tartan or leopard print (ohhhh!) but big thumbs up to subtle striping or two tone. Though it wasn’t as easy to incorporate into a logo as you may think though. Many a design was overloaded with colour or texture, or made us look like a patchwork quilt manufacturer!

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When developing the shape of the logo, cat’s ears were the design feature adopted early in the process. We knew the company name in full was to be used, but it also needed to be identified by a standalone version which would have as much impact as the full brand.

“We started with a predominantly characterised cat logo which oozed animation potential but didn’t work as a brand.”

So elements were removed and tweaked to compliment lettering and early sketches. This advanced to the second incarnation which was bold and round but lacked the vibrancy we really wanted and didn’t feel youthful or exciting. Back to the drawing board it was then!

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Next up was a very digital-focussed logo – too much digital in fact. Although we really liked it and it worked well as a logo it was not for this particular brief. Next we went fabric overload and we ended up with a chubby tartan inspired ‘C’….It was never going to work! So too digital, too textile – it was time to get doodling again. The many notebook pages and post it notes were combined and somewhere amongst the inky scribbling was an idea that everyone saw potential in.

“We ran with it and a colour palette tweak or two and some ‘a pixel to the left, one more, one up, no two down, one right, that’s it!’ and we were there.

Well, it was ready for managing director approval take four! Lo and behold it hit every design brief note it had to. Some dummy business cards, email signatures and web banners were drawn up and it was sent off for final company-wide approval.

And here it is in all its glory!
cca_blog_boab_005Want to see the brand take life from initial sketches, its many incarnations and the final product then you can watch ‘Birth of a Brand’ below so grab a choccy digestive, sit back and enjoy!

30 October 2013