Revolution has its downsides. Evolving a 20-year old brand can sometimes be a better path.
Back when this project was still a secret, we gave it a code name, Project Comet Ensō, referencing two of its core, underlying concepts. Utilizing the comet and the ensō to conceptualize the brand, we designed a path of evolution forward that integrated the past, present, and future of Portent, rather than tossing 20 years of company history to the curb and just “rebranding” from scratch.
History should inform the present, and by making a point of considering where we’ve been, we are better equipped to create a future that is viable, productive, and responsible – to take an active role in melding what we will become.
Evolution, not revolution.
Starting at one, not zero.
A company logo is a very particular thing. It needs to represent the brand, be legible at multiple scales, be flexible for varied contexts... We could go on. But besides all that, it simply needs to feel right. When you’re working with an existing company, they’ve been through it before – even though they want something new, the old logo felt right at one time, and it shouldn’t be disposed of without consideration.
Exploring the extracted elements.
The old logomark is composed of a circle; from there, we evolve to the ensō, a traditional symbol of wholeness and the cyclical nature of existence. The word portent, meanwhile, is defined as an imminent sign of something momentous, historically this was often a comet.
Rather than throwing out the baby with the bathwater, the new logo retains the feel of the old. There is continuity and familiarity in the evolution: longtime clients see that Portent remains current, yet also, still is the company they’ve relied on for decades.
Transformation and animation as iteration.
Consider exploring an existing logo through its components. If the lockup is the statement to resolve, first factor the equation, leaving the “P” in the circle, the “i” isolated, and the wordmark.
Divide by “i” to remove the vestigial component from the mix. Invert the “P” in the circle, and you begin to see that negative space can still read as the letter itself. Integrate the logo and wordmark back into the new lockup, and voila!
Looking back to the concept of the comet, we also imagine a way to animate the logo into being: traversing the sky (or page, or screen, as it may be), then spinning inwards to form the logo.
Let’s make It real.
And that’s that! Portent’s updated logo is live and out and about. Paired with a basic palette of colors (along with a series of tints and shades of the main brand blue), designing and developing for digital and print media is a breeze. From business cards and letterhead, to the pages of portent.com, the new branding keeps this decades-old company fresh, yet still familiar.
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