When it comes to refreshing a logo, there's a delicate balance between keeping the essence of the brand intact while also infusing new life into it. Recently, we had the opportunity to work on a logo refresh for the Chordoma Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by chordoma, a rare type of bone cancer. In this blog, we'll delve into the history of the Chordoma Foundation, discuss when to refresh versus rebrand, and explore the idea that sometimes, less is more when it comes to logo refinement. So, grab a cup of coffee and join us on this branding journey!
A History of the Chordoma Foundation
The Chordoma Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2007 by Josh Sommer, a college student who was diagnosed with chordoma at the age of 18. Chordoma is a rare type of bone cancer that affects the skull and spine, and at the time of Josh's diagnosis, there were no effective treatments available.
Determined to change that, Josh teamed up with his family and friends to start the Chordoma Foundation with the goal of accelerating research to develop new treatments and eventually a cure for chordoma. Over the years, the organization has grown to become the leading source of funding and support for chordoma research worldwide.
In 2022 Chordoma Foundation partnered with Mostly Serious to to design and develop a new website that meets the needs of the foundation and its audience. As part of this project, we were also were tasked with refreshing their logo.
When to Refresh vs. Rebrand
As we delve deeper into our logo refresh process, it's essential to understand the difference between a refresh and a rebrand. A logo refresh maintains your brand's core identity, subtly updating and modernizing the design. On the other hand, a rebrand involves a complete overhaul, crafting an entirely new brand identity. So, when should you consider each option? A logo refresh works best when your brand remains strong but needs a slight facelift, keeping up with current design trends. If your company has undergone significant changes or your current branding no longer aligns with your goals, a rebrand may be the right choice. In the case of the Chordoma Foundation, our approach was to preserve their powerful message while breathing new life into the logo.
Sometimes Less Is More (Especially when Refreshing a Logo)
Overall, the process of refining an existing logo is an opportunity to deepen and amplify the brand's identity. It enables us to create a logo that embodies the brand's values, personality, and messaging with greater precision and impact.
Due to its deep connection with the current organization, specific guidelines were provided to help guide our creative process and level expectations between client and agency. These boundaries included:
- The primary color should remain blue, but the hue can change
- The primary typeface can be changed
- Open to adding a secondary typeface
- Within the brand mark, the arrow and letter C should remain.
With the guard rails in place, we began the revision journey and landed with this design. So what’s Changed? I’m glad you asked!
The changes we made can be categorized in to one of three buckets:
- Improving Color Contrast
- Updating Typography
- Cleaning up the word mark
Improved Color Contrast
We made the primary blue lighter and more vibrant, while deepening the shade of the secondary blue. The lighter blue is friendly, welcoming and represents the community aspect of their organization while the darker blue Is professional, buttoned up and represents the research aspect of the foundation. This improved contrast makes the logo more visually interesting and leads to a more striking appearance.
Montserrat (primary typeface) is a highly versatile font that works well for headings and prominent text due to its strong and distinct shapes. On the other hand, Karla (secondary typeface) is legible at smaller sizes and excels in body text, providing clarity and readability. This pairing ensures that the logo can adapt to various applications and scales while maintaining its visual appeal.
Cleaned up brand mark
With those two elements in place, it was finally time to address the brand mark. Since Chordoma wanted to maintain the core look, we embarked on a mission to modernize and enhance its visual appeal. Our first step was to remove the square shape at the top, opting for a more streamlined silhouette. Next, we rounded the corners and shortened the tails on the mark, resulting in a cleaner and more refined appearance. These adjustments significantly improve visual clarity, particularly when the logo is displayed at smaller sizes. The brand mark's updated look strikes a balance between preserving its essence and infusing it with a fresh and contemporary touch.
As you can see from the result none of these changes are major, none are earth shattering, but together the result is a gentle shift that amplifies the brand identity while remaining connected to the Foundation's rich legacy.
By carefully considering the balance between maintaining the essence of the brand and infusing new life into it, we were able to create a refreshed logo that captures the dual nature of Chordoma's mission as a community-focused organization and a dedicated research foundation. The updated colors, contrasting fonts, and refined word mark all contribute to a logo that is both professional and inviting, embodying the Foundation's commitment to improving the lives of those affected by chordoma.