Inside the informal rebrand with Elizabeth Goodspeed

Fonts and colors for the new informal brand

This week during our internal project chat, art director and graphic designer Elizabeth Goodspeed shared with us the process of designing the informal branding.

Elizabeth began by explaining to us a bit about her philosophy when it comes to design work and favourite things to create. Her focus on consumer goods and print media has led to work creating packaging for products like food and cannabis, which Goodspeed says are one of the few remaining opportunities where print media get to create a vibe, or make a fashion statement. Her work often features a lot of historically inspired touches, which came forward in her work with the informal brand.

Pre 2022 informal brand

“Initially” Goodspeed says, “the original informal brand was not a brand so much as it was a name only with no visual aesthetic. Intentionally default.” She explains that this was important, because the informal brand needed to be recognizable as well as hold space to showcase the work done by informal members, but also be marketable on its own.

Elizabeth’s first pass at the logo, above, was a bit too simple and friendly. Her subsequent process included creating various mockups that she was using to explore how informal “grows” “expands” and “connects” within the hardware community. Her series of mockups below shows the exploration in form and style.

For font choice, she wanted to showcase the underlying structure, which is emblematic of the mission of informal. “Using an all lower-case word mark creates lots of unique opportunities to use type” Goodspeed says as she shares a series of potential fonts. She explains that these fonts all have ink traps, which are a feature of analog type where spare ink pools to fill the space in corners. In a digital font, the ink traps remain visible. Goodspeed says this is a nod to the structural element of informal, and ink traps are featured on all the word marks below.

Fond options for the informal rebrand

Following this train of thought, both the website design and color choice reflect this idea of structure from CMYK pallet to visible bounding boxes. Elizabeth worked with another informal member, web designer Max Mearsheimer to make these designs come to life, using simple animations that don’t overtake the content. Below, we can see how client work can be featured within informal’s website without competing with the brand.

We’re excited to see our new brand finally out in the world, and enjoyed hearing about all the ideas that make it work. If you want to see more of Elizabeth’s work, check out her website.

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Lee Wilkins

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