We spend a fair amount of time explaining that brand design isn’t decorative. It is a transformative process. It is sometimes a difficult point to make because the easiest transformation to point to is the visual identity. Without context, it is easy to think the color choices, the typography, the logo itself are just aesthetic decisions. In fact, they are strategic.
The part of the new identity that likely looks the most frivolous is the logo animation. With visual identity becoming increasing digital, animation has become another useful tool for the identity designer. The experienced designer uses this tool as a mechanism to highlight the underlying thinking. Again, it is strategic.
The animator uses speed, motion, elasticity of shape, perceived weight to convey tone. In 2016, no one had heard of Plot Landscaping Services. This animation uses speed to show that they are responsive. It uses sharp angles to show precision.
Volta Technologies is an IT service provider. The logo multiplies and moves to show complexity. Then, it refocuses to show that the company can make complexity simple. It is solid, yet dynamic.
Sometimes it is more valuable to tell a clearer story of what the company does. Animation is a great way to tell a complicated story in an engaging, simple way. Cal Labs provides diagnostic testing for physicians and employers. The animation starts as a simple shape. It divides and divides again to form the logo. While not explicit, the organic, cell-like shapes give the viewer the impression that Cal Labs provides biological services.
International Book Project is even more explicit. They provide books to people without access. They ship containers of books across the world. Often for children. The paper airplane symbolizes this exchange in a fun way. When we showed them this, they were nervous that it was too much of a stretch for the viewer, so we used animation clearly draw the line.
We work quite a bit with established organizations who want to make sure that there is clear continuity between who they were and who they are becoming. Animation is a tool to show this. Louisville Public Media is a community treasure, producing content through their three radio stations and attendant media properties for a loyal public. The animation shows that the branding exercise was not an attempt to start over, but that it is an evolution.