Over the last few weeks we’ve been very busy reinvigorating the Ingenuity brand! We now have a new logo, a new website, new business cards, new business shirts are on their way and this has all happened within a month.
It all started nearly a year ago when we decided it was time for a new website. Our old site was looking a bit dated (and it was starting to get embarrassing given that we’re a web-based company) and just really wasn’t up-to-scratch anymore. Just like the builder whose house is in desperate need of repair or the plumber with leaky taps, we had neglected our own home while trying to fix everyone else’s.
So our ninja’s aimed their shurikens at our evil nemesis – Procrastination – and BAM, the re-branding process began.
The first step was a new logo
Even though I quite liked our old logo there were a few minor issues with it and it was time for a change. A logo should be unique, recognisable and clearly represent your company. At the same time it needs to be simple and versatile so it can be used on stationery, shirts, cars and anything else we feel like branding.
Our old logo was a stylised lightbulb which was supposed to suggest ‘bright ideas’ – something often associated with the word ‘ingenuity’. Only problem was, people often didn’t even realise the image was a lightbulb. Further to that, the layout and gradients made it difficult to put on anything other than our website and business cards.
As a direct result of this personal experience, mixed with a bit of common sense, we knew the attributes of a good logo and the things we wanted to avoid when our new logo was designed… but we had no real clue of what our logo should look like. This made the design process quite tricky until a friend suggested we try 99designs.com.
At 99designs, you launch a design contest for your specific design project. You nominate a monetary prize along with a brief of what you want (or don’t want) and the competition begins. Within 7 days you have hundreds of design entries to choose from. There are few things that make this site awesome.
- You are presented with creative ideas from hundreds of different people. Everyone has their own style and skillset which means you get a wide variety to choose from.
- You can provide feedback while the competition is running which can really help turn a good design into a great one.
- It’s quick – the contest only takes 7 days from start-to-finish. So if you’re in a rush or have a specific deadline, you know you’ll have the finished product within a week.
- It’s cost effective and the price is fixed right at the start, so there’s no squabbling, miscommunication, disagreements or any hidden fees or charges. Further-more, if you decide none of the designs are what you wanted, you’re not obligated to choose a winner and you get your money back.
So we launched a contest and within a week we had a whole selection of very cool and very unique designs. There were so many great entries, we genuinely couldn’t decide, so posted some of the better designs on our Facebook page and asked our fans for their feedback. As a side-note, if you missed-out on this because you weren’t a fan, you can always become one now
When the feedback was reviewed and all votes counted, the winning entry was chosen and is what you see in the top left corner of our site. Internally we’ve affectionately dubbed the symbol as “The Man Button”. Some have said it looks a bit like a computer chip, many said hi-tech, others said Aztec and one even said it could be construed as a phallic symbol. We see it as a symbol of our companies invigorated image and bright shiny future.
Then came the website
wasted spent surfing the net, plus our background in SEO, we knew the traits of a highly effective website. We also knew the message we wanted to communicate – that we’re a fun, yet professional team of geeks that genuinely care. But we weren’t 100% certain how we were going to bring all this together through code, text and imagery.
To gain some much-needed inspiration, we spent a few days looking at visually appealing and informative websites. We began working on a structure that suited our industry and something users were familiar with from othe providers without taking them too far from what they have come to expect from Ingenuity Hosting.
The result of two weeks solid work is now our new website. We did all the design, development, content creation and artwork in-house fueled by frequent coffee breaks and those ever faithful Krispy Kremes, using strong teamwork to keep the day to day of the business running without a hitch.
Given our core business is hosting services from Email to Cloud and everything in-between, the decision to challenge ourselves with the new website was a brave one. It sure was fun, and as hosting providers, the development of our own site has given us a true insight into the world of a web developer and graphic designer and a real appreciation of what is important to them.
As we all know websites are organic, constantly evolving beasts. With the help of some of our strategic partners we are on a mission to make the website even better; with more information, clearer navigation and better graphics. So stay tuned and tell us what you think!