Lessons Learned: Change is a Good Thing - A Branding Update June 15, 2017 05:00

When you start a business, there are thousands of decisions to make.  THOUSANDS.  For 2 Type-A perfectionists like us, (hi there!) this was exciting and daunting at the same time.  We wanted every decision that we made to be the right one, but realistically, it just won't work out that way.

UPstudio started with an idea - to create a simple, beautiful, versatile planner - and evolved into a line of high quality paper products.  Before we could launch our products and ideas, we had to make some pretty big decisions on how to present them, including finding a name for our company, and a logo that would represent what we do.  The name UPstudio has a deeper meaning than just the words themselves.  "UP" stands for "Ut Prosim" which means "That I May Serve".  This is the motto of my alma matter, Virginia Tech, and it's a standard that Mary Beth and I try to live by.  We are a small company, but we want to make a difference by serving (stay tuned for more on this later this year.)  UP is also a nod towards Heaven.  Mary Beth and I are both Christians and our beliefs are the cornerstone of our lives, and our company.  Studio is a direct take from our day jobs as architect and engineer.  The idea of working in a studio is that you're constantly working to make changes for the better.  Studio is playful and evolving and design oriented and devoted to studying.  It was only natural to call ourselves a studio instead of "company".

After coming up with a name, we worked to come up with a logo.  We evaluated a lot of different ideas, and eventually landed here:

We liked that it was simple, and compact.  As the initial designer, I felt like our logo needed to be original and not just look like simple text.  Fast forward 2ish years to now.  As you have probably noticed, this logo is appearing less and less, and you're seeing this one more and more:

There are a few reasons for this change.  One is simple logistics - the thin lines in the original logo are very thin.  The thickness of the lines in the text of "studio" match the thickness of the lines in the middle of "UP".  I loved how delicate they were, but printers hated it.  The lines were just too thin, and didn't always read the way that we wanted them to, sometimes even getting completely lost.  This made for an inconsistent logo (and a lot of heartburn with our local printer), and we definitely didn't love that.  We worked around it as best we could, but when it came time to create the 2017 Planner, we came to a crossroads.  We were intent on upgrading the binding and cover material to leather, and we wanted a simple deboss on the front and back of the planner - the back being our logo.  Well, if a regular printer was inconsistent with the thinness of the lines, the deboss was downright impossible.  This forced us to evaluate and talk about the logo, and as it turned out, neither of us was in love with it anymore.  Maybe we never really were.  As we continue to grow as a company, we're also growing and defining our brand.  This even simpler logo, while still designed, is more classic and more versatile.  

Eventually we will completely phase out the original logo, but for now, expect to still see a little bit of both of them during this transition period (and honestly, we still have products and business cards with this logo and as a small company, we can't just throw these things out!)  

We feel good about the new logo, like it's more us.  Sometimes it's hard to admit when you need a change, but then after it's said and done, the value is crystal clear.  Take a look at the evolution of the UPstudio website from day one to today:

Want to read more posts like this one?  Check out the Lessons Learned blog post series and learn with us!