This past summer, Extensis asked BC to re-imagine their brand identity. Over the past 20 years or so, the brand has been a household name among graphic designers, most well known for their popular font management software, Suitcase. Given how embedded Extensis has been to an extremely opinionated and cynical audience, we understood the gravity of getting it right. At Blue Collar, we believe in bringing the best people to the team for maximum horsepower. In this case, we collaborated with the talented creatives at Owen Jones & Partners.
Few projects ever succeed without solid research. With this in mind, we set out to conduct interviews with Extensis employees, customers, designers & developers, and others who interact with the brand and products on a daily basis. We also analyzed the competitive landscape both in font management and digital asset management (DAM).
Brand Attributes, Persona & Audience
Armed with research insights, we defined brand attributes—characteristics that encapsulate the true essence of Extensis (mmMMMmm, delicious essence!) The brand persona was written to serve as the internal mantra for the Extensis team. Below are the attributes that are now set in stone (actually pixels, if you want to get technical).
The narrative is the one part of the process that overlaps both the rational and emotional side of a rebrand…making it an incredibly important (if not the most important) part of any rebrand effort. This is where we take all the truths and differentiators of the brand and attempt to write a compelling story about who we serve, why we exist and why you should care. If you strip away all the logos, colors, typefaces and collateral from a brand you’re left with the stories and experiences customers associate with them…pure and simple.
If you’re still reading I’m sure you’re excited to see to some visuals. You’re in luck. While visual identity is the most exciting step in the process, it’s arguable that it’s far from the most important. Do you want to argue? Great, I love a good argument: email me. No fewer than 30 logo concepts were designed and considered, but only 7 were ultimately presented. During this step, it’s important to be your own harshest critic. Given all the hard work done prior, our logo concepts should be very targeted…helping keep what can be a very emotional and subjective phase focused and efficient.
After lots of refinement, copious amounts of experimentation and thoughtful consideration, behold…the new Extensis brand logo! Much like a proud parent ushering their child onto the school bus for the first time, the new Extensis brand too must find it’s way in a crowded software marketplace. Look for a redesigned company website featuring the new brand soon!
The talented people at Extensis were instrumental in bringing this exciting rebrand to life. Without their input, encouragement and unyielding support, none of this would’ve been possible. Capturing the nugget of personality that lives and breathes inside this uber-cool, Portland-based software company was truly a team effort. To read more about the font selection & modification process, click here. Cheers!