the new cxntrast branding

2019 is here ya’ll. It’s kinda crazy to think that it’s almost the year 2020. I remember when I was a kid thinking that in 2020 our world would look like something out of The Jetsons. I guess we haven’t gotten there yet. Probably for the better.

I thought a great way to start off the new year and to kick off the return of my dearly abandoned (but beloved) blog, was to give you guys a design breakdown with my new branding for Cxntrast. When it comes to coming up with a blog name or any kind of online identity, it can be pretty difficult for me to STICK TO IT. This is like, a legit reason why I can’t just yolo and get a tattoo, even though I’ve wanted one since high school. If it’s not “perfect”, I tend to abandon ship. I’m trying to change that mentality in general, because as a creative, it’s easy to get stuck in the idea of “perfection”, thus making it impossible for us to put out any of that creative work for the world to see. And what’s the point of being in a creative field if no one else can see it?! So here it is, in all its imperfect but thoughtful glory…the revamped CXNTRAST.COM!

Step 1:  Finding a font for the header. Since this is a personal blog, I wanted the header font to be simple, clean, but reflect what my blog really was about. I knew I wanted something in ALLCAPS, so I went looking for some clean san-serif fonts on Linotype and Creative Market. BISON was the one that stuck to me. As a secondary title font, I chose a nice, clean serif font. Quincy had a lot of weight variations and I love that it’s more rounded and soft compared to the sharp edges in Bison.

Step 1: Finding a font for the header. Since this is a personal blog, I wanted the header font to be simple, clean, but reflect what my blog really was about. I knew I wanted something in ALLCAPS, so I went looking for some clean san-serif fonts on Linotype and Creative Market. BISON was the one that stuck to me. As a secondary title font, I chose a nice, clean serif font. Quincy had a lot of weight variations and I love that it’s more rounded and soft compared to the sharp edges in Bison.

Step 2:  Finding the colors. The overall vibe of this blog is part my personal aesthetic, part minimalistic design blog. Although I want to make Cxntrast a space for a wide audience, I still needed it to reflect who I was as a designer. I narrowed it down to these 3 colors. It’s always best to keep it to 3 or 4 colors, max.

Step 2: Finding the colors. The overall vibe of this blog is part my personal aesthetic, part minimalistic design blog. Although I want to make Cxntrast a space for a wide audience, I still needed it to reflect who I was as a designer. I narrowed it down to these 3 colors. It’s always best to keep it to 3 or 4 colors, max.

Contrast: noun - /ˈkänˌtrast/
1. the state of being strikingly different from something else in juxtaposition or close association.
Step 3:  Fine-tuning the font. I experimented with different variations of the Bison font to tweak it to how I wanted it. I originally liked the standard BOLD version (third) but felt it was a little too loud. Having it be an outline with a stroke that was in-between the first two looked the best. It also gave the naming a true sense of contrast: Bold font. Thin stroke.

Step 3: Fine-tuning the font. I experimented with different variations of the Bison font to tweak it to how I wanted it. I originally liked the standard BOLD version (third) but felt it was a little too loud. Having it be an outline with a stroke that was in-between the first two looked the best. It also gave the naming a true sense of contrast: Bold font. Thin stroke.

Step 4:  Creating an identity logo. This would be the logo used for anything that goes beyond the blog, like Youtube, social media pages, branding collateral, etc. I explain the variation of stroke width in the graphic, but you might be wondering, why the “X”?   The Story Of X:  Contrary to what some people had initially thought when I created my CXNTRAST blog a few years ago, the spelling wasn’t just because “CONTRAST.COM” was taken lol. In general, the “X” or “+” symbol is my favorite to utilize in my graphics. It’s a very versatile thing! And I love versatility. Although X itself is a letter, it can also symbolize many different things and carry many different meanings. In this case, the X represents a crossroad with opposite ends that come together in the center. The “C” represents “contrast”. This logo is not very traditional in the sense that it’s not going to be legible when small. But always remember, when it comes to designing logos, EVERYTHING you do is intentional. When scaled down, it looks more like an “X” with a pattern design. So the text within the X is to create that illusion.

Step 4: Creating an identity logo. This would be the logo used for anything that goes beyond the blog, like Youtube, social media pages, branding collateral, etc. I explain the variation of stroke width in the graphic, but you might be wondering, why the “X”?
The Story Of X: Contrary to what some people had initially thought when I created my CXNTRAST blog a few years ago, the spelling wasn’t just because “CONTRAST.COM” was taken lol. In general, the “X” or “+” symbol is my favorite to utilize in my graphics. It’s a very versatile thing! And I love versatility. Although X itself is a letter, it can also symbolize many different things and carry many different meanings. In this case, the X represents a crossroad with opposite ends that come together in the center. The “C” represents “contrast”. This logo is not very traditional in the sense that it’s not going to be legible when small. But always remember, when it comes to designing logos, EVERYTHING you do is intentional. When scaled down, it looks more like an “X” with a pattern design. So the text within the X is to create that illusion.

Step 5:  Testing your logo in different variations. It’s important to make sure your branding pieces work well on light backgrounds, dark backgrounds, and anything in-between. I wanted a pink secondary version because well…it’s pink! I was playing around with “C” variation as well, so that’s something I’ll probably fine-tune more as time goes on. I think as a main logo, I am sticking with the “X” because I like what it represents, although the “C” probably makes more sense.

Step 5: Testing your logo in different variations. It’s important to make sure your branding pieces work well on light backgrounds, dark backgrounds, and anything in-between. I wanted a pink secondary version because well…it’s pink! I was playing around with “C” variation as well, so that’s something I’ll probably fine-tune more as time goes on. I think as a main logo, I am sticking with the “X” because I like what it represents, although the “C” probably makes more sense.

And that’s it! That’s my CXNTRAST re-brand breakdown. And let me just be real with you, I came up with all of this pretty quickly (like, an hour before I started writing this post :sweatdrop:) I didn’t want to be fixated on the actual branding because it’s a blog, but branding design (for a client) typically takes weeks! I will say though, I do like how it turned out. Sometimes the creative juices flow, other times it’s dry as the desert. Such is the life of a designer.

Thanks for stopping by! Lot’s more in stored. Stay tuned ya’lls!
~Lora

Music That Inspired This Post: X