In the spring of 2013, I accepted a full-time position with Cleo. The big draw? The chance to completely rebrand the company. It didn’t hurt that Cleo was located five minutes from where I grew up.
I was afforded the opportunity to recreate the look and feel of Cleo from the ground up. The project included a new logo, sure, but it also meant new typography (I selected Akzidenz-Grotesk Pro because of its technical and scientific roots), color palette (I chose bright, landscape-based colors inspired by the Midwest), website (initially based on Zurb’s Foundation and later WordPress), photography, and a lot more.
Months of research went into this project. I began by investigating the company’s background, mission, and core values. Key points of emphasis were developed based on that research: Ease of use, friendliness, simplicity, security. Heavy emphasis was placed on factors that differentiated us from both our direct and aspirational competitors.
In the end, I came up with a two logo system that emphasized the clarity of Cleo in contrast to our competitors (whose logos all feature gradients, drop shadows, and complicated line art). The first logo, seen above, is the primary logo of the company. It’s a tightly kerned and slightly tweaked version of the Akzidenz-Grotesk Pro font, with the tagline attached for good measure. I’ve included an explainer image below. The secondary logo, called the Shield, is a modified penrose triangle that emphasizes security, connectivity, and geometric simplicity. The primary logo is featured in most cases, while the Shield is used as a sort of shorthand for the brand.
The rebranding of Cleo was and has been the most rewarding project of my career, and continues to evolve to this day.