Logos & Brand Typography
Studio Saudade* borrows its name from a Portuguese word that has a complex meaning with no direct translation to the English language.
The company offers creative pathways for people to integrate love, loss, and grief. Its founder, Rebecca Mullins is a talented creative director who understands and values every step in the process of creating quality visual communication. So when it came to developing a visual identity for her own company, she was able to articulate precisely what it should be standing for in a detailed creative brief.
She had already worked with a designer to nail down a logo when we met, but it was not quite there yet. So, I brought my typographic expertise to finesse her logo to a clear, harmonious solution with a correct hierarchy evoking the ideas of a timeless quality, completion in the face of an absence, craft and attention to details, and compassion and warmth. Who would imagine that this would be the first project of a years-long creative collaboration?
To help bring the Studio Saudade brand to full fruition, I first analyzed what was missing or not quite working in the current solution and why. Guided by SS’s core values, vision, and mission, I then redesigned and finessed all the visual elements to reflect the brand’s established principles.
The first step was working on the main logo lock up. Here are some challenges and solutions:
The weight of the name was too light | Reducing the ascenders and increased the x-height, making the Saudade feel more prominent, like it's closer and larger.
The upside-down e created confusion | Redesigned the "e" to match the S, which reinforces the theme of completion in the face of an absence.
Unbalanced name mark S felt too tall, weak, and disconnected to the rest of the letters | Redesigned the S with matching weight and adjusted placement, so the word Saudade looks equally balanced.
The sharp serifs on the top of the letters u and d were too long, expressing speed, in dissonance with the desired message | Reduced the serifs, decreasing the overall energy in favor of reflective qualities.
Secondary typeface Ringside with its rational design contributed to a fairly cold look and feel | Introducing Ideal Sans, a humanist sans type family, to the bulk of the branding communication and limiting Ringside to legal documents only, added warmth while preserving clarity.
The word "studio," composed in Ringside, was too weak and cold | Switching it to Surveyor (like in Saudade) balanced the logo top to bottom, adding weight and integration between the elements resulting in a cohesive combination.
The plus sign in the tagline was a point of interruption to the line flow and could be associated with a medical field. | Switching this sign for "and" with "love" and "loss" in italic improved readability while highlighting the keywords of the branding message.
Next, we moved to create an artistic element of an ink/brush mark for the symbol. Again, the idea was to highlight the concept of healing through a creative process.
We experimented with various shapes to find a good fit where our distinctive S can be nested comfortably.
As part of the selection process we tested how the symbol would behave in the brand’s colors.
Vector BIG version
Vector SMALL version
After a series of refinements to the final versions, we generated this final versions:
Then it was time to test it in real life. Rebecca printed a series of booklets to start marketing her services.
Big sizes versions
Small sizes versions
Generating optical sizes guaranteed that her brand can be represented at it's best at any scale.
Horizontal business card
Collateral marketing materials.