German4expats is an opportunity for expats living in Germany to drastically improve their German through workshops, language study travel and tandem learning groups inside of businesses and companies in Germany. Isabelle, founder of german4expats, approached me to redesign her logo to market herself and her services to the right target audiences she wants to reach with her business.
German4expats revolves around learning German, but it’s also about the personal goals of the participants. The language aspect is more seen as a key aspect that is used to help participants progress in their life and goals. After reviewing the concept, we dismissed it as it wasn’t really what the client wanted and it tried to tell too much at once.
After further discussion with Isabelle, I decided to go into another direction. She wanted something modern, more round which put an emphasis on the aspect of learning the language. And you do that by talking to each other. I decided to create the shape of a „g“ for German out of speech bubbles to emphasize what the business is about.
This image shows the final sketch that we decided to work with. It is the shape of a „g“, formed out of two minimalistic speech bubbles. In the process of vectorizing the sketch in illustrator, I decided to work on the minimalistic look a little more in order to make the speech bubbles more visible.
This shows the logo Isabelle had for her business before she approached me. She was okay with it, but it wasn’t really the right one for her. It gave off to many financial vibes. In her words, it looked more like a logo for a financial company, than a language learning experience that aimed to help people grow and achieve their goals.Although we eventually used a blue in my redesign, the ones used in her previous logo just didn’t cut it. They were dark, lacked contrast and didn’t inspire the feeling of enthusiasm and motivation we were looking for.
Isabelle wanted her logo to speak to the right audience: expats living in Germany, managers of companies - especially in the area of technology, construction and the hotel business. So what was needed was a logo that evokes a sense of professionalism without looking too austere. After all, the business is about enthusiasm and the sense of joy we feel when we work towards our goals and grow as people, and that was something that needed to be conveyed with the logo. I combined a darker blue with a pastel green tone that breathes a bit more life into the design.. I also decided to place the „g“ symbol inside the same shape that the „g“ is made off, to symbolize the safe space in which participants learn German through the offered workshops. The speech bubbles can be used as a visual element as well, on a website, as a pattern, on a package. Things like this really help to establish a brand.
For the colors, I went for a darker shade of blue, combined with the light pastel green to provide some balance. Blue is a wonderful color to evoke a sense of trust, professionalism and stability. The light green brings something light to the mix. The decision for the green color is also based on the fact, that all learning materials that are provided in the workshops are made from sustainable sources. The green is also great to emphasize on the aspect of growth and hope. Because expats who participate in the workshops are also there to grow in their own personal lives and aspirations.
For the type I’ve chosen a san serif font which I then manipulated to match it with some visual characteristics of the symbol. The rounded corners of the speech bubbles are something that I tried to incorporate into the type by rounding of the arches of certain letters as seen in the image. I think fitting the type with the symbol is a powerful way to really establish a connection between the two and make them a great fit. In addition to the aspect of marrying symbol and type on the visual level, I also wanted to give the type a more friendly and welcoming look. Although the business is a professional one, people shouldn’t feel intimidated by a too austere look. Rounded corners are a great way to soften a design that otherwise can seem too sharp.
This image shows the changes I made to the logotype in comparison to each other. Although the differences are very small, they do make all the difference. While the one on top just looks like a random font plucked from the web and slapped next to the symbol, the one underneath is much more aligned with the visual characteristics of the symbol. Having these two aspects of the design match each other creates a powerful visual connection between the two, giving the brand a much more trustworthy look, as there went lots of thought even into details such as those. This often creates the impression in people, that this business is serious if even such details are important to them.