I’m thankful for clients who know it’s not as simple as tweaking a few letters and calling it a day. Trailheads has been a client of mine for a few years now. They are great to work with and even greater people on top of that. They first reached out to me after seeing one of my badge designs and hoping I could help them on a hang tag layout. I did the layouts, added some overall branding suggestions and somehow that turned into helping them redesign all their product branding on their Amazon store. It’s been fun to hear how the focus on imagery and design has really upped their sales through Amazon and I always appreciate them keeping me in the loop with future project discussion etc.
Earlier this year Trailheads recruited me to help with some new headers and imagery for their new website. As most people are aware, creating a new website takes a lot of time and resources. That made for the perfect time to refresh the logo, update colors and give a bit of direction. Since I was familiar with their logo from so many previous projects, I knew quite a few changes to suggest right away. These changes would make the logo simpler, a bit more streamlined after taking out a few kinks/bumps and more current without losing the brand equity they established (especially in the women’s trail running space).
Here you can see a before and after of the work I did. I evened out the line weight, centered the diamond more with the “T” in the middle and adjusted some spacing. One thing I like to do also with a handwritten logo is tweak letters that are the same since the style is handwritten it only makes sense that they wouldn't be exactly the same. In this case the “A” letters were tweaked ever so slightly.
I also used a two-tone color scheme with a bright lighter blue for contrast. After looking at the logo and discussion over usage on profile images, hangtags, small ponytail holders, etc. I also created a stacked logo version. This would be very useful for square shapes and profiles the logo may need to live in. With so many printing methods and embroidery included, we also had variations on the logo created with taglines, separate diamond shapes, etc. all with a purpose to improve legibility or solve a problem on certain materials.
Key branding elements were also updated with the new color scheme and tweaked where needed to fit the new direction. These represent just a few elements used in branding and sometime I will do a post showing more vector illustration work and icons done for Trailheads.
A “TH” symbol was also created for favicon use and other very small space needs.
Below is the brand guidelines that were designed to provide direction with the new website and future projects. This was one of the larger brand guidelines I’ve done recently, so I removed some pages as to not make you scroll for a decade. I made it an interactive pdf with each section navigation being a live button and making it easier to navigate. The document talks everything from spacing, to color profiles, typography direction and branding examples.
Once the new website is live I may have to make another post. Trailheads is great to work with and I’m always excited about the variety of their projects. Somehow they even let me design a glove :)