When coming up a name for the new company I immediately looked to music as inspiration, and David’s Bowie’s catalogue in particular. Initially I looked towards Blackstar as it is one of my favourite albums and it has always been an aim of mine to create a monochrome brand. After listening to it a few times over I realised that the themes and messages were too dark for an optimistic digital agency.
I then listened to the rest of Bowie’s catalogue, from Space Oddity and Ziggy through to Heroes and Little Wonder. Nothing jumped out which could be used that a a brand that was either too contrived or too obvious.
It was then when I listened to The Next Day when I heard the line And Another Day. That was it! It was an obscure enough lyric to use, the domain names were available and it ties in nicely with what we offer… a company’s website shouldn’t be ignored after it’s built. Who’s going to maintain it and help it grow today, tomorrow…
The initial sketches for the logo had no references to music. The only link was supposed to be the creation of the name, and then it was supposed to take on a different theme.
I took a pencil and my dotted pad and started scribbling some ideas. I explored grid, dots, blocks and basic calendar concepts.
Next, I opened Illustrator and tried some more concepts. The letter A with a rocket, more squares and more calendars – i) today; ii) the next day iii) the next day; iv) And Another Day, but nothing jumped off the screen.
With nothing coming to life I sat down next to my records, put a few on and streamed them to my Meters headphones and looked through some books and my music collection. Books included ones on iconic logos & branding and books on the history of dance culture identities and posters. That is when it started to come to life. I remembered how the word Bowie was written on Blackstar and recreated the ‘I’ element to use it as an ‘A’ and initially both were sitting side-by-side in a square. Then came the D, which I soon realised looked like a record coming out of a sleeve. A bit of tweaking, and adjustments and replacing the Arrow used for And into a + and it was there… except we had an icon, but no words.
It took a lot of searching for the correct typeface to use (in fact, I can’t find my research). Eventually I found Brother 1816 which was available from a few sources. I found the capitals from the standard character-set had the correct shapes and angles to match the icon, along with the lowercase characters from the alternative set. Illustrator and Photoshop weren’t a problem and a few tricks with CSS and we got it working – except in Chrome, which wouldn’t let us target specific characters globally in a web page. We saw this as a challenge and we didn’t want to compromise on our design decisions and we ended up editing the font to avoid any CSS trickery.
Once the logo was done and the typography was settled, everything came together pretty easily. The black and white theme stayed with an accent yellow for CTAs. The came the blog. And as soon as the strict monochrome guidelines were in place they all got thrown out the window and we wet full-on colour. It was decided that all blog articles should features a full-colour hero graphic with the listing thumbnail taking the record concept to the next level and creating a 12″ single, with a custom background for each with the shape of the logo taking prominence.
This article was created whilst listening to a variety of music from Prodigy to Etta James and Mungo’s HiFi to Warmduscher and wearing my David Bowie trainers or Sex Pistols DMs (not at the same time)