We recently unveiled Skitch’s new brand as part of our iOS 7 update, and we’re really pleased that it’s received such a warm welcome from our global community of users. For years, we’ve been working to make Skitch the ultimate communication tool; the fastest, easiest way to get your point across. Our brand now clearly reflects this vision and purpose.
Crafting the New Brand
The app and its brand have evolved a lot over the years, both in the time before Skitch joined the Evernote family of apps and after. Reworking a brand steeped in all this history was not a task we took on lightly, and several months and multiple creative minds contributed to this endeavor.
We sat down with the folks who spearheaded the rebrand effort — lead designer Keith Lang, senior interaction designer Cris Pearson, and designer Chris Ploeg — to give you a peek inside Skitch’s new brand:
What was the process of creating the brand like?
Keith: We had tried a number of times to re-think the Skitch brand. The heart was something dear to all of us, especially Cris and I. Cris had drawn the original heart idea, and we’d both worked to refine its look and feel. So there was a lot of pressure in our heads to do something that was going to be good enough to replace it.
In a word, the process was daunting. Many people had expressed their love for the logo and we needed to create something that was more honest to the application, more modern and also a great logo.
How did you decide on fletching (the feathers on an arrow) to represent Skitch?
Cris: The feathers of an arrow — the fletching — are what guide an arrow to its point. And that’s fundamentally what Skitch was built to do: to help you get your point across, fast.
Keith: We had a couple of other logo ideas which had been getting a lot of polish and we were getting near the deadline for the rebrand project. The idea of fletching was a late-entry into the race, and wasn’t the clear winner. But in the end, the decision was made to go with the fletching and, after living with the logo for a while, it feels like the right decision.
Chris: I see the Skitch arrow as being emblematic of what our product does at its core. Finding a way to carry that metaphor into the brand, in a broader way, was definitely on my mind as I worked through various explorations.
What are some of the design techniques you used to create the new brand?
Keith: We used a number of techniques, the most important of which were:
- Keeping the negative space of the shaft the same height as the slab serif
- Rule of thirds on where the feathers split
- A symmetry of the general form
- Treatment of colors to reference to the red-pink of the original heart
- Keeping inner ‘shaft’ negative space edge and outside top and bottom edge exact
- Re-use of the curves to keep the logo strong and somewhat geometric
- Subtle use of transparency and gradient to imply soft featheriness
Chris: We spent time talking about negative space in different ways throughout the rebrand explorations. In going with the “bow and arrow” direction, we didn’t want to imply something aggressive. Focusing on the fletching entirely and allowing the empty space between to still read as a shaft seemed to be a simple and elegant solution.
Cris: I also showed many versions of the logo to people around the office to get initial impressions. Sometimes this was natural selection by asking, “Do you like logo A or B?” Based on people’s reactions, ideas we tried from A or B lived on or died. When filtered through our design process, this information helped guide what tweaks to make.
How did the brand evolve throughout the process?
Keith: I think we explored a lot of design spaces — from highly geometric to very organic. We also explored a lot of color options. We tried 3d, 2d, animals and objects.
What does the new brand mean for the future of Skitch?
Keith: It means we want to make the future of Skitch as bright as it can be. That everything is to be questioned — what’s working, what’s not. Sometimes that may mean going back to the past to re-capture what worked well and sometimes that will mean creating something new.
Chris: To me, Skitch is all about workflow. What that workflow is could be completely different depending on what device or platform you’re on — we are making an experience that feels indigenous to wherever you’re using it. We have lots of work to do to get there, but I couldn’t be more excited about that challenge.
A special thanks to everyone who helped with dreaming up, doodling, and designing the new brand: Gabe Campodonico, Carlos Rocafort, and the rest of our incredible design team in Austin and Redwood City.