Last month Carlos Merigo, from Brainstorm #9, one of the biggest and most prestigious Brazilian blogs, contacted me asking if I would be interested in redesigning his blog brand. I was totally amazed by the opportunity to work on a project like that. I knew it would be challenging because of the target audience, mostly advertisers and people who really know about that matter.

Briefing the design process

The first thing when designing a logo, is to understand the context, history and what's the image it has to deliver to the audience. Asking Carlos about the meaning of the logo, he explained to me that the logo was, of course, related to “brainstorming”.

Brainstorming is a group creativity technique designed to generate a large number of ideas for the solution of a problem. The method was first popularized in the late 1930s by Alex Faickney Osborn in a book called Applied Imagination. Osborn proposed that groups could double their creative output with brainstorming. - Wikipedia

Now, about the number #9, it was a really nice story: he was looking for something that would make the name stand out, Brainstorm was way too simple. Then he saw on his table the famous White Album by the The Beatles. He decided to take a look at the name of the songs and found the Revolution #9. That gave him an insight, because even John Lenon himself once said that that song was the weirdest, longest and probably most hated Beatles song.

John Lennon wrote this with contributions from Yoko Ono. It's a highly experimental piece, which Lennon once called "The music of the future." It is the most controversial and bizarre track on the album - you have to have a very open mind to appreciate it.

The work is credited to Lennon/McCartney, though it was primarily the effort of John Lennon. (This was Lennon and McCartney's standard practice, to share songwriting credit on all songs written by either or both.) George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Yoko Ono made small contributions, while Paul McCartney did not actively participate in the track's creation. Ono's avant-garde influence on Lennon's compositional style is clear throughout "Revolution 9." - Wikipedia

I had to listen to the song, and it’s definitely a crazy song, full of looping and sort of a collage of different things, pretty much like a brainstorm.

Current logo
That was the current logo.

So the keywords from my little brainstorm were:

  • Loop
  • Collage
  • Avant-garde

Logo References and Sketches

Before going straight to the computer, I worked on some sketches, exploring a few concepts using the keywords that were selected before. Also I visit logopond.com for some logo references. You can take a look at some logos I used for reference at the Ultimate One Color Logos Inspiration article.

Logos from logopond for design references
Logos from logopond for design references

The first idea was to keep the # symbol and add another element. In this case the lightning bolt.

First Sketches for the Brainstorm #9 logo
I know, I suck at that but it's helpful ;)

First Idea

After having some interesting ideas on paper, it was time to go to Illustrator and work on the symbols. Below you can see one of my ideas, mixing the # and the lightning bolt.

Creative process of the first idea
The first symbol mixing the # with the lightning bolt

It was a nice idea and a good symbol in my humble opinion. It had a nice link with the previous logo, but there was a big problem: the number 9 wouldn't work well along with that symbol.

First Idea with the Logotype and versions
First Idea with the Logotype and versions

Selected Idea

Even though the first version came out quite nicely, I decided to work on another version, trying something different and using the number 9. With that in mind, I decided to mix the number and the lightning bolt symbol.

Second idea mixing the number 9 and the lightning bolt
Second idea mixing the number 9 and the lightning bolt

Logotype

With the Avant-garde influence on the song Revolution #9, I simply had to use that font. I really like it, despite the fact that here in Brazil it was a default font in Corel Draw, the most popular software for vector design here. But what does that have to do with the font? Well, imagine that this is the default font... so when people send business cards to the bureau and forget to send the fonts, which one is used instead?

Yes, maybe it was the most used font ever here in Brazil, but with a few tweaks it would work fine.

Exploring the idea of looping, I played with some characters, mainly in the word Brain because ideas and complex thoughts are born in the brain, so it had to have a clear relation between LOOPING in the Brain. Also I used gradients to add some depth to the connections between the letters.

In the last letter, the "M", I nudged the symbol a bit over the letter, leaving a little gap between the symbol and the letters to avoid problems with the monochromatic version.

Selecting and playting with fonts
Selecting and playting with fonts

Final Result

I really believe that the new logo achieved the goals we had set in the very beginning of the project. A simple and iconic logo, relating to the Beatles song, Revolution #9.

Final Logo

Versions

Versions of the final logo

Braincast

Braincast, the Brainstorm #9 podcast
Braincast, the Brainstorm #9 screencast.

Site

Also I worked on the web site, but that's another story for perhaps another post in the future.

Web Design project

About the author of this post

Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator Tutorials. Of course there are other softwares conteplated like Pixelmator, Fireworks, and web design tutorials.