Crossmaneuver Rebranding

Graphic Design / UI Design / Print & Responsive Web Design

Working with creative director, Kay Barnes was such a dream. Her unique dance studio which incorporates cross disciplinary avenues of creativity required branding that was just as unique. We went through many iterations but we wanted to create something that would excite and translate the concept to children, but also exist in a modern world and appeal to their parents.

Wes Anderson is a magician

Kay and I are both very inspired by Wes Anderson. Especially in his ability to appeal to both adults and children. He has a respect for childhood in his work that doesn’t alienate adults but invites them to let their imaginations fly. This is the atmosphere we wanted to hinge the branding on.

Style Tile Iterations

The First style tile turned out to start us on a good path. Super minimal but Kay loved the pastel colours that were still mature and BIKO was the perfect typeface. We have stuck with it, almost for the entire project. Minimal and modern but with subtle playful moments.

Illustrative elements — mockups using Julie Morstad illustrations as inspiration

Diving in

Kay had the idea of playing with a “type specimen”. Imagine the flash cards used to teach kids how to read. I simply loved this idea, and couldn’t play enough with the three colours as you can see.

For a while, I thought we had hit the nail on the head and this would be the fastest I had ever nailed down what a client had in mind. But not so fast….

More Exploration

Kay wanted to play more with colours. In hindsight, I think the fact that I was bringing her close to finished mock ups so quickly, made her want to get more bang for her buck. In other words, more exploration for me.

I even went so far as to abandon the direction entirely and show her something brand new. Softer and not so “Wes Anderson-y”. Kay wasn’t the biggest fan. And brought up that she wanted to explore her old logo.

Explorations with old logo

Surprisingly, I liked the suggestion after playing with the old logo. I thought it was going to be too cold and modern. Not childish enough. But with our old use of colours, the logo works.

Kay LOVED the integration of the old and new. Sometimes it’s good to ease the client into a new look by meeting in the middle :)

She suggested adding black into the mix.

Again, her suggestion was surprisingly on point. I thought black would take us to far down the adult road and away from one of our key users. But I think giving an adult feel to the branding, with some fun colour, doesn’t necessarily alienate children these days. They are way more “with the times” these days and the typeface does a lot of heavy lifting in terms of its approachability.

Stay tuned for more updates. This is still a work in progress! Future website is also in the works!