Evolving a tech startup brand: Jibo
A while back I was fortunate enough to be asked to take a look at the current Jibo logo and see what could be done to make it feel a little less Tron and a little more human.
We also worked closely with the Jibo team to create something that wouldn’t be a complete upheaval of what they had – they had brand equity, so this is more of an evolution, and less of a redesign.
Here’s the spoiler, the before and after.
Wow, crazy, right? I can’t believe all those wild out of the box design decisions that led to that insane evolution that redefined who the Jibo brand is.
Ok, not really. But let’s dig in to why I did make the decisions that led us to where we ended up.
Let’s start with our inspiration.
Jibo is made of circles.
Lots of circles.
Jibo’s old logo was also made of circles.
The circles feel unbalanced, and take up the majority of the form. This hurts rhythm and legibility.
Optically the circles don’t feel aligned with the “ji” – For circles to feel as though they sit on the same plane as their flat counterparts, they must extend slightly beyond the edge:
Just making this change doesn’t create a better mark alone, so redrawing to make the mark a custom drawn logo that is more ownable makes sense.
The revised logo has two parts:
- One part represents the people that interact with Jibo.
- The other part represents Jibo.
These are the people.
Abstracted people with heads are represented by the two vertical lines with dots.
This is Jibo.
He is round, this part represents him.
In order to create a legible logo at all sizes, we looked to historically highly legible typefaces and took cues from their learnings. We chose to look closely at a typeface called Caslon.
The serifs, although they add detail throughout, actually tell our brains what letters we are looking at, and let users read more fluidly.
So here’s a comparison of the old logo with Caslon’s x-height.
In order to make our mark reflect the legibility traits of Caslon, we made a few tweaks. We didn’t take the exact proportions, but used them as guidance. Knowing the mark would have to live at a variety of sizes and fidelities (debossed in plastic, on 2x screens, on huge displays at events), this offered the right amount of legibility and flexibility.
So here’s where we landed. Balancing legibility, flexibility, and character to create an evolution of the previous mark that works across all Jibo’s brand use cases.
And here’s the little fella in all his glory.