How one software company overhauled its old school vibe.

Following Volusion’s brand redesign from conception to implementation.

Adam Dutton
May 15, 2017 · 10 min read

Volusion has a long and vibrant history as one of the top ecommerce software websites on the web. We were created in 1999 by web designer Kevin Sproles, who was just 16 and working out of his parents’ house. Since then we’ve never been an average company…but in late 2016 we realized that our site was looking decidedly average. As designers we felt like our old brand was not very well developed or clear, and was lacking in personality. We knew that we could improve the brand and website to attract our ideal customer.

Volusion’s existing logo and homepage.

So we decided to totally revamp our website and brand, primarily to attract new merchants and help foster the talents of amazing ecommerce founders. Additionally, we wanted to create a more fresh look that could easily grow and develop with our current and future customers.

Getting Started

Our homepage redesign kickoff was in early November 2016. The first goal was to explore new layout and styling options, and to then user test them. By narrowing the design focus down to just the homepage we were able to explore a larger variety of options in a two month period.

The initial redesign process was pretty straightforward for a few weeks. We met once a week to review various homepage designs, gather feedback and share user testing results. Eventually each designer came up with their own concept for the homepage.

Concepts from different designers

There were no restrictions on the design process; we wanted to give everyone creative freedom. However, we did keep in mind our main homepage goal: introducing new customers to Volusion and enticing them to sign up for a free trial.

Next Steps

Missing something?

Creating a Fresh Logo

To create a fresh logo, we looped in the same designers that participated in the homepage redesign, and once again everyone developed their own concepts. We also put up an ideation board where the rebrand team posted their contributions, which was placed in the office lounge for all employees to see. This corresponded with a public Slack channel called #rebrand-feedback, where we encouraged any and all opinions about the logo concepts.

Collaborative Design

Every Medium post needs a shot of Post-its on a wall, right?

We believe in sharing openly and being transparent (it’s actually one of the tenants of our Culture Code), which is why we had everyone contribute ideas related to Volusion and what we do for our customers. Additionally, it was interesting to see the symbolism that non-design teams suggested, with everything from light bulbs and plants to eagles and tacos.

At the same time we revealed our design team logo ideas to the entire company, and it was a total learning experience. In fact, a number of the logos that were popular with designers did not resonate with the rest of the employees. This wasn’t discouraging; it was actually interesting to get input from people who thought differently, and it motivated us to reach out and explore other options. We learned a lot by being transparent and opening ourselves up to feedback.

Changing Direction

With a new team on our side, we came up with twenty main attributes to describe Volusion, and for each attribute we had five supporting descriptions. It was at this step is when the concept of a prism first came to light. (Pun intended.) We narrowed the list down to our top five favorite attributes, and Ramotion sent us back basic sketch ideas.

A refreshingly diverse selection of sketches

We set an aggressive timeline for logo completion in under a month, which meant we were both getting daily updates from the Ramotion team and giving daily feedback. Even though we had a time crunch, within two weeks we were able to narrow down our ideas to a few unique concepts.

A formal logo design process, especially one restricted by a tight deadline, can be very laborious. A brand redesign commonly starts with an abundance of enthusiasm, but as the project moves on, that enthusiasm can dwindle and the elusive final result can seem out of reach. In early March, this is the feeling we faced.

A brand redesign commonly starts with an abundance of enthusiasm, but as the project moves on, that enthusiasm can dwindle and the elusive final result can seem out of reach.

We really started liking the prism metaphor and how it represented our mission, but the symbol was just missing something. Even with a feeling that we may not be headed in the right direction, we persevered and gave more feedback. This time, however, we expressed our desire to start seeing some color applied to the designs.

Immediately after sending feedback to Ramotion, we pulled open Illustrator and painted in some bright colors into the leading prism shape. This changed everything.

The first revision Ramotion sent that had color applied (left), and what we had been fooling around with in Illustrator (right)

It suffices to say that we were on the exact same page with Ramotion. We independently created mockups that matched up perfectly! The colors instantaneously gave life and meaning to the shape, and the brightness provided a feeling of friendliness and refreshment. All it took was to add the four colors we landed on with the homepage, and to match the more rounded, friendly feel of our overall design direction, soften the edges of the sharply pointed prism.

Consider the Prism

Pink Floyd would be proud

What does it do?

What does Volusion do?

We are the prism

We are Volusion

Our Consider the Prism story was shared with all of our employees, and we had overwhelmingly positive feedback on the brand mark idea. We finally felt like we found our best logo solution.

The Prism itself represents our customers that come to us with an idea, and who use our product and services to create successful businesses. The four logo colors represent the four facets of our product: the Create Your Store, Sell Your Products, Grow Your Business and We Can Help sections. These facets are also the cornerstones of our new website structure (Big shout out to Wes Asbell for introducing this concept early on!).

When developing the logo, it was important for us as designers to collaborate with all our employees to create something we all would love, not just as a logo, but as a symbol that we can embody and champion in our everyday lives. Luckily, our final design hit that mark: we have something that we — and our employees — are proud of.

Logo variations and use cases

Over the next two weeks we worked with Ramotion to finalize the wordmark for the design. By mid-March we had our final logo…and celebrated with a Pink Floyd and prism-filled party, where we presented the design and handed out t-shirts with the new look.

A toast to the new Volusion!

Things We Learned

(L-R) Sr. Product Designer Adam Dutton, Founder & CEO Kevin Sproles, Sr. Visual Designer Tracy Turner, Sr. Visual & UI Designer Mike Casebolt.

Looking Ahead

Thank You

Keep in touch with us! Kevin Sproles is our founder, Adam Dutton is our Sr. Product Designer, and Tracy Turner is our Sr. Visual Designer. Andrea Kinnison is our Content Strategist and word wizard. Homepage redesign team also included Anjuli Desai, Wes Asbell and Charles Haggas. Additional help from Mike Casebolt and Andrew Jasso.

We’re excited to be a part of the Medium community! We plan to post many new stories, so be sure to follow our publication. Check us out on Dribbble. Want to join the growing team of designers at Volusion? We’re hiring!

Volusion

Stories from the teams at Volusion.

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