| Oct 07, 2011
One day I was driving and thinking (not illegal. Yet.) And then it hit. An idea!
No? A scribble? Yes. A scribble.
A scribble is free. Unconfined. My first thought was, Had this been done before? I vaguely remembered the AOL Version. I thought about it. I pulled out my art history books and re-read about some of my favourite artists that were a part of the abstract expressionist movement. I liked the fact that this approach was slightly rebellious and anarchic, which fit well with our name. This post-war period was just as concerned with the emotions and methods of creating the art instead as they were with the message behind the art. It was a true example of how the medium is the message. And so I began to scribble.
And scribble. I did it in pencil. I scribbled in paint. I did it in marker. I explored different lines, weights, the fluidity, the coarseness, what I liked, what I didn’t. Ultimately I started to digitize the scribble. Lets just say, scribbling with a mouse is not easy. So I bought a Wacom pad and scribbled more. I explored different brushes, went through the gamut of settings to find a brush that we agreed had the right balance of simplicity, yet interest in line weight and curvature. Of course, we are completing work for clients simultaneously so I never got too far into this, but it was quite evident that we liked where this was going.
What we discovered next was that the scribble didn’t actually look like a scribble. It looked too much like an illustration of a scribble.
Finding that balance of something that was expressive yet polished enough that we could plaster it everywhere took restraint. As a designer I wanted to control how the lines overlapped, the negative spaces it created and I wanted to be sure it would reduce and work in different formats. I explored how it looked when the shapes went 2d, 3d, different colours, big, small, fill, no fill, gradients, you name it. Ultimately everyone helped me see that it didn’t need to be designed. In fact designing a scribble no longer made it a scribble. So I scribbled until we found one that expression our vision.
After many iterations and some very technical discussions, like – too fat, too round, too simple, too neat, too messy, looks like a bow, looks like a butterfly – we learned a bit about ourselves and how our personalities were shaping the identity. You would think that something we learn to do at a very early age would be easy. Whether we debated the shape or the message of the scribble, it was evident that what we were really discussing was whether it represented who/what our company is – just as any logo should. We decided the execution needed to be a combination of a controlled, smooth, pretty line and a wild, raw, unpolished scribble.
After a few more executions we were closer to what we envisioned. The final was created by combining a polished, controlled version, and one that is raw and expressive. When they were combined there was no fanfare, parade of circus clowns, or confetti dropping from the ceiling. We were all gathered around, looked at each other and said – yes. That’s it. That’s the scribble. And so the Cubicle Fugitive scribble was born. I finessed a bit, created the black and white and reverse options.
During this whole process we had experimented with our corporate colour palate. You can see hints of the spectrum in the first scribble above. During the process we decided to keep it simple and keep the palate limited. Today it rests with black, white, and Pantone 3255 – an evolution of our existing palate, but changed to be more contemporary and timeless. The new teal blue is fresh, yet warm, rich yet friendly. We are still discussing and developing a few other colours that would be added as subtle complements to the main palate.
During the whole design process I had expressed some concern for legibility of the scribble when reduced. While we knew these instances would be few and far between, I wanted to be sure it met these basic design requirements. As one of our executions we and investigated the logo in shapes. Tying the logo and scribble to the shape and having the scribble “explode” from the shape fit well with my vision of breaking free – after all it’s what we do for our clients – help them break free of the ordinary.
So, with a collective gasp, the logo was created. But, this was only the beginning. It’s not building the logo, but what you do with that makes it special. We’ll see what happens….