Designing for Developers

The Task at Hand

How to design an identity that speaks equally of a strong software and data driven past and of a well rounded, creative, and holistic future? Thats the question I set out to answer.

HTMLfusion as a company is an evolution of a previous company; SQL Fusion. Renamed and rethought to reflect a more flexible business model and well rounded company that at one point only employed software developers and built back-end systems. The company has moved away from only software and heavy data lifting to encompass design, design research, websites and apps. When working on the logo I tried to keep both the past and the future in mind.

I started with sketches. Sketching all my ideas and the stream of conscience that arrises from exploring with pen on paper.

Early Sketches 1

Early Sketches 2

Early Sketches 3

Next I moved on to the computer explorations. This way I could explore my best ideas in a slightly more refined manner. Still messy and free and trying to explore and let my creativity wander. Here is a screenshot of my art boards in Adobe Illustrator:

Computer Exploration

Original Concepts

First Presentation

Afterwards I picked a few directions and presented those. I still find presenting my work nerve wracking - I’ve been presenting my work for over 10 years and I still feel like a child when I do it. Not sure if that is just a way I will always feel, exposed in an intimate way. I think it has to do with my the nature of my work - I pour time and energy and, well, love into all of it and when I present and willingly seek criticism over it - its a little intense.

After talking with the team and narrowing down the possibilities I refined a few of the chosen concepts and tried to push them as far as my creativity would allow while still resonating with my developer coworkers and boss. This time around the choices were more similar in general ideas and differentiated in execution.

Updates and Final Logo

Second Presentation

Final logo was chosen by a narrow margin and I’m happy with it. Then began the process of branding our emails and online communications, business cards, and even a nifty little online style guide.

My final spiel for this logo came down to this:

This logo draws from the 40’s and 50’s era of nuclear research as a foundation for “fusion”. The color wheel surrounding the logo is a take on the rotation of protons and electrons around an neutron. This logo represents the vitality and power associated with the promise that nuclear energy holds rather than our nuclear past.

Final Logo

Style Guide