When you visit someone’s house, the experience you have isn’t based on their front door. Sure, the front door may hint at the type of experiences you could have (a 2-inch steel door gives a different vibe to a handmade wicker screen), but ultimately it’s just a starting point.
The same is true for an organisation’s brand. Too often brands are confined to the importance of the front door and superficial importance, when a brand should permeate every part of the experience for staff and clients alike.
Brand is of critical importance to spur: and something we painstakingly craft. We also believe our brand should be under constant review to ensure it reflects the values and experiences we want people to have. Like a river, these changes are likely to be almost imperceptible day-to-day, rather slowly carve new territory over time.
This journal outlines some of the shifts and changes to spur:’s brand you may have noticed over the past 12 months—and why this evolution is important.
The Castle is an Australian classic. One particularly famous scene is where lawyer Dennis Denuto argues the ethics against compulsory house resumption based on “the vibe of the situation”. Although “vibe” might not stand up in the courtrooms of Australia, how we feel does fundamentally shape our thinking and decision making day-to-day.
This leads to the important question of how do we want people to feel when they interact with spur:? As our branding should frame and reinforce these feelings of:
It’s these feelings that, when felt, provide the building blocks of trust.
Earlier iterations of the spur: brand did speak to these principles though over time (as we as an organisation evolved, too) areas for refinement became evident.
The previous colour palette was bold and adaptable, with shades based on locations around the world that held importance to the spur: team. However, several shortfalls emerged:
Changes to the palette are, by far, the most noticeable change to the spur: brand which swaps out harsher tones for more subtle pastels. spur: as brand, should not need to shout for attention—rather our work should speak for itself.
Perhaps this is COVID-related and a reflection of our inability to travel internationally, but the new palette is based on foods and is reflective of our ethos towards the sharing food as a community building tool (see cookbook).
Colours are far more harmonious and can be combined much easier. Colour contrast is possible with far more combinations of colours and in a way that is easier to understand the likelihood of passability:
The new palette has been adopted across every facet of spur: including icons, websites, documentation, signatures, etc. as demonstrated below.
When the Spur Labs name evolved into spur: several years ago, bold sans-serif fonts were very on-trend. We loved this logo, especially the little ‘spur’ on the p. But as spur: has matured it doesn't feel like us anymore—instead it feels more closely aligned to a start-up. We want spur: to feel timeless, rather than following trends du jour.
We turned to inspiration from institutions and publications that have stood the test of time and so gravitated towards a more refined serif font—still, of course, with the ‘spur’ on the p. This also extends to spur:’s sister foundation, spur:org.
The refined font of the logo then extended to wider changes across spur:’s default fonts. As many people often need to create assets we biased again towards open-source fonts from Google—allowing easier access and collaboration.
Headers and title text
Headers and title text use DM Serif Display, the same foundation as the logo, replacing the sans-serif Montserrat.
General and paragraph text
Libre Franklin replaced Lato with larger rounding and crisper edged.
Below are some other example manifestations of our evolved brand across different assets. If you’ve been following spur:’s brand for a while, you’ll notice many of our original principles still apply, e.g. layout, proportions, use and application of imagery, tone of voice, etc.
We’d love your thoughts and feedback on the changes we’ve made.
Do you think the evolution of branding helps to create a feeling of trust? Would you like to chat about your own organisation’s branding?
Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org