Beauty and the Beast

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Beauty and the Beast
Posted on June 30, 2020 by Simon Dunn

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Friend of Mustard and insights profession legend Tom Ewing was launching himself as a freelance writer and thinker within the industry. He approached us to develop a logo for his new business.

It’s normal for clients to have little idea of what their logo should communicate, so we go through a process of working with them to define their company personality, values and ambitions, which then translates into an appropriate brand. At Mustard we refer to this process as ‘bringing out the flavour’ of the business.

However, Tom had already come up with a name and had a clear visual brief in mind “I have something quite specific in mind for the logo – the word “Wordbeast” but with the letters making a picture of some large animal – dinosaur, bison, elephant, yak, that kind of creature.”

We immediately got what Tom was looking for and had an image in mind, but before Simon leapt into the design process it was essential to agree a creative brief with Tom. A creative brief is a short document that details everything about the project, ranging from who is the decision maker to the single overriding message of the design. It’s written at the beginning of all design projects, even when the client thinks they know what they want, to ensure that agency and client are agreed on what the objective of the project is from the start. So, if a design meets the brief, it’s ‘right’ even if the client or agency would not want it as their new wallpaper.

Initially we looked into and agreed which ‘beast’ best reflected Tom’s personality. We choose an Elephant; social, very intelligent and gentle whilst still being beast like! We then started drawing lots of sketches, many versions with a lot of refinement (an eraser!) to evolve the fit of the text and elephant shape. An additional benefit in the choice of an elephant was that the silhouette is easily recognisable, critical for a logo.

Tom unveiled the logo when he spoke at our Insights Marketing Day event in London and subsequently launched it on LinkedIn to much positive comment.

As a final step, and because the logo does not work particularly well at very small sizes, we developed a simplified version that does not include text, to use at icon size as favicons and for social media profiles.

Although this was a little project it had a big result and it was great to work with Tom again, to bring his vision to life.

“Simon and the Mustard team did a brilliant job bringing Wordbeast to life! I didn’t think my idea at the start was that clear to be honest – there’s a lot of beasts out there and anything from a dinosaur to a deer could have fitted. In my head I wanted something which could have been an indie record label or comics company logo, and as soon as I saw Simon’s elephant I knew we were on just the right track.”

Tom Ewing. Wordbeast