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Servaunt - Birthing Identity

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Poll: Please rate this critique (6 member(s) have cast votes)

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#1 rucker


    Apprentice Designer

  • Designer
  • 263 posts

Posted 11 February 2006 - 10:12 PM

Under pressure from myself to complete a Case Study, I've given up looking for design projects that others have done. There are quite a few, but I didn't allow myself time to understand the project (strategy, designer, client, etc). As a result, I've decided to choose a former project of mine. The chosen project is an identity developed as a benefit toward a new business relationship.

Posted Image

Understanding the Company: Servuant, LLC
Servaunt is a "Full Service Internet Solutions Interactive Marketing and Design" company. The developing corporation is based in the Tri-state region of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware (United States). It is the result of a merge between two companies (AK Works, and former Servaunt) that had similar goals and characteristics. With combined skill, experience, and education Servaunt intends to reach into new trend-setting boundaries that reach across several areas. These areas include small to mid-sized businesses, non-profit/for-profit organizations, large businesses, and of course individuals. There is a vast range of services that Servaunt produces which also include: Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Management, Optimized Web Design, and Print Design.

Project: Background
I was approached by a managing partner with little description toward developing the new identity. Discussion began and ended quickly with, "You want to think of new-age, contemporary...and cutting edge. We want something that really expresses our passion for our work. New, innovative, exciting, daring, creative...but at the same time classic and techy."

After several drafts, I decided to focus on the, "S" of Servaunt. I've always been a fan of icons and iconic logos. To me, if a designer can capture it's client's vision in a single icon, they've done their job. That, of course, is to be proven in this study.

Project Review: The Good Stuff
The identity definitely holds the "contemporary, cutting edge, and exciting" flavors. We can see this throughout the entire identity, and note how it is effectively implemented. Let's first point out the feminine qualities of the logo.

There are hard bending curves complimented by soft ovals. This screams contemporary - women are in. They've always been in for most of us guys, but within the last decade, women have really started to pull attention in the marketing game. Everywhere you look, there is an appeal for the female's appetite for approval, strength, and exhorted character. The "Dinosaurs" of nearly every industry have been reshaping identities to match the "in." Examples include AT&T, Sprint, Comcast, and Kodak.

To make something "Cutting Edge" would mean that one would have to find an "edge" first before slicing it into components. In other words, a company must have a nitch before embarking on setting trends. Servaunt's nitch (though not entirely new) is to combine several like-minded services into one effective program. Servaunt's cutting edge personality is marked in it's identity by the sharp and distinct straight-edge lines and points. The sharpness then spreads into the contemporary character previously discussed. That signifies that Servaunt is first Cutting Edge, then contemporary. This matches the principle that one must first have a nitch, and can then slice the nitch into several components; all of which match today's "in" standards.

What isn't exciting about the Servaunt icon? Upon seeing it, one get's a sense of youthfulness, jubilance, and freedom. There are no boundairs within the icon. It is seemingly limitless, but at the same time confined to a simplistic array of daring creativity. The icon follows basic swoosh standards (indeed, if the could be called such) and radiates with unexpected pathways with consistently growing momentum. This follows the industries pattern for "exciting" in identities such as seen for Verizon, Burger King, and even the Winter Olympics of 2006.

Project Review: The Not-So-Good Stuff
Unfortunately, even with some of it's goals accomplished, the identity is not effective because it is not a true identity. Identities should be unique, inviting, and void of error. Servaunt's new icon does not accomplish any of these basic characteristics of an identity.

It is difficult to make a single letter unique, then showcase it as an icon. Especially in today's volatile mark for "I like" and "I dislike," it is becoming increasingly popular to simply spotlight the name of a company. That is, of course, if the Brand Strategy allows it. Servaunt's name is unique. Though it is not a new word, it holds a new application of the word and presses the boundaries of nomenclature development. The "S," on the other hand, holds no uniqueness. Seeing the icon alone gives no communication; it becomes mute. In the world of identity development, no image should be mute. Every image should hold a unique message, distinct purpose, and personal characteristics.

Servaunt's identity has no clear invitation toward the company. An invitation is usually modeled from an identity's uniqueness. Of course, since Servaunt's icon has no unique characteristics it is impossible for it to produce an invitation. The image should welcome onlookers into the world of Servaunt. It should peak curiousity about the company, and the services and/or products it provides. As a tool for first impression, the logo is not open to building relationships between Servaunt and the client.

Lastly, there are errors in Servaunt's logo. Follow the "S" around, and pay close attention. You will begin to note certain points (literally, for those accustom to the Pen Tool) that are off balance. The fault triggers edges to look distorted, and breaks the "S" out of alignment with itself. This, among other faults, portrays the identity as cheap. It shows that the designer (in this case, me) was careless toward the project. Each identity should represent the company (no matter how bad the actual company may be) through a professional and top-quality process rendering industry-par results.

Suggestions for "Rebirth"
If I were commisioned to redo this identity, I would first help to develop a Brand Strategy. That way, the security of the identity's look can be chanelled through all venues of company-client/company-company communication. Furthermore, I would focus on the company's name. As previously mentioned, it is very unique. If the client still wanted to showcase the "S," I would recommend, as part of a Brand Strategy, that the icon be used as a compliment until the name was better known and associated. The color is too "Cingular" or "Vonage." Those two companies have nearly trademarked that color. I would go for a softer orange, or go for distinct color combination. Also, perhaps I would use a gradient as a combination, instead of just solid colors. If I was charged to redevelop, my goal would be to essentially create a new identity that is different from the current, while at the same time matching and improving on the industry's standards.

Note to Moderator: I did not see the Polls option.
  • lalelemu likes this

#2 Kalin


    Apprentice Designer

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 03:55 AM

Pros: The orange colour of this logo is a great choice for the high tech industry

Cons: The letter S was not apparent to me as an S until I read that that is what it is supposed to be. I got more of a b shape out of the design. The harsh angles of the letter don't work well together with the smooth curves in the design and the negative space within the design was not used effectively. Standing alone, this logo tells me nothing. It needs a company name and/or tag line to support it. I get a kind of board room feeling out of the design.. as if lots of people are sitting around a table that is spiraling downwards.

Suggestions: To make this logo better, I would cut out some of the many elements that are cluttering it up. There seems to be 2 much going on there. I would also suggest using an already existing typeface for the letter instead of attempting to create your own. Removing the harsh angles from the design would also help, as they do not work effectively in contrast wit the curves in the design. Also, as i mentioned before, this logo could do with a name/ tag line to accompany it.
  • lalelemu likes this

#3 designedbyjulie


    Junior Member

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 01:55 AM

I would agree with the above post.

I also believe the logo needs some thought concerning the actual company and not just the study of modern design and odd numbers. The S could work but only because the "s" is a common design choice. Dots are becoming over used as well, especially in new or web companies.
  • lalelemu likes this

#4 retlaw


    Apprentice Designer

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 04:08 PM

Pros: I agree with Kalin... I like the orange color, although, it has become quite a common color in that industry

Cons: Without a company name or tagline and without McDonald's money it is pretty hard to just go on an iconic logo design

Suggestions: I think you tried to incorporate too much into the design. I could almost go through the logo and match up the requests made by the customer.... that is what you are supposed to do (as far as designing what the customer wants)... I just think you could have generalized things and simplified it a bit. There is a lot that is "distracting"

#5 intrepidguppy


    Elite Designer

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 06:15 AM

Thank you for this case study. I am new to the design field and it's great to have this kind of fundamental education. I'm sure it will help me in the future.

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