Visual Identity & Logo Design 101

Ever wonder what’s involved in crafting a logo? Great visual identity can seem so simple that it’s hard to believe it takes much time or effort. Yet your logo is a visual trademark that instantly connects a viewer to your company. Just like you, it should be one of a kind. Creating an eye-catching visual that stands for a company or concept requires considerable thought and skill. Our clients see only a portion of the process that goes into creating a logo and visual identity.

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Crafting Visual Identity


In order to engage and educate town residents about why new waste management services were being brought in, we worked with S-Cubed Environmental to develop a full public engagement program. Our first step involved creating the visual identity which would become an instantly recognizable reference to waste management.

Step 1 – Thinking through our goals

We had multiple goals for this public engagement program. We needed to educate that much of what is in the landfill is valuable material, explain that waste has financial and environmental costs, convince residents to change their behaviors around waste management, and encourage them to take full advantage of the new program.

At the same time, the visual identity for waste management had to align with an existing brand, as it would be one part of a range of communication materials used by the town.

Step 2 – Considering visuals

To fulfill the purpose, the visual identity needed to incorporate several elements. First, the image and colours should signify waste management. Green is the colour most often associated with the environment, while blue stands for recycling. The graphic should align with the town’s existing brand. Our client had also requested a tagline that would cue residents to think about their actions. We began to put our ideas down on paper. 

Step 3 – Evolving the look

Our ideas for the visual identity had moved from the conceptual to the tangible. Since every client will eventually need a digitized logo, we move to the computer at this point of the process. Once we created a vector version of each idea, we could begin to play with colour and style. 

We were still considering options for taglines which could add more depth to the visual identity. As well, we thought about how each possibility would look in various contexts – on screen or paper, embroidered, or used in signage.

Step 4 – Presentation

Once we had developed several possibilities, it was time to present each option to our client and get feedback.

We had first played with the ‘V’ shape that dominated the town’s brand, incorporating it in a lettermark that flowed from the black of a waste bin to the greens and blues associated with recycling and organics. As rolling carts were an integral part of the new waste management program, we developed two versions of that idea.

Step 5 – Refinements

Both the creative team and the client agreed that a cart icon best represented the new program we were rolling out, while making the visual identity specific to waste management. This way, it would not conflict with the overarching town brand. The colours and shapes in the cart identified different waste streams and the concept of a healthy environment. The winning Waste Matters tagline is a play on words that can be read in more than one way. It references the specific department managing waste, while also touching on the need for waste reduction.

Step 6 – Variations on a theme

Once the client had chosen the winning logo design, we developed a visual identity guide along with the files needed for different contexts. During the course of the public engagement campaign, Tilt & Tweak worked with S-Cubed to present the Waste Matters onscreen as part of a website, on social media, in printed posters, flyers, ads and maps, and even as a temporary tattoo – but that’s another story.

I can’t express my gratitude enough for your help. I am happy that we have had many years of working together, and that you understand my abstract concepts. Your ability to present these concepts in writing that is clear and to the point (very important) is a definite knack. As well, your skills in interpreting data and what I present are extremely valuable. Thanks so much!

Stacy Schaub-Szabo

S-Cubed Environmental

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