How the KIT logo evolved

Reflections on KIT’s Branding

I was tasked with designing the logo for the release of KIT. The process proved to be a very fun and iterative experience and I hope you’ll gain a better understanding of our product by following my journey below.

How KIT works

As an extension of a nonprofit organization’s CRM, KIT applies artificial intelligence to recognize patterns and opportunities by analyzing data within a users donor database.

The team wanted the logo to be a reflection of this progressive technology. So I set out to design a logo that was elegant, trustworthy, sophisticated, smart, and unique to our product.

 

Research

I started the process by meeting up with the KIT core team to understand a bit more about the vision behind our new product. Learning about our main target market and our brand philosophy was an essential part of my research before starting work on conceptualization. 

Based on that meeting, I made a list of words that came up while talking about KIT.

From that list of words, I picked four that I believed were the most representative of our vision behind our product.

After choosing those words, I started looking for a starting point; a direction and a way of representing our brand with a logo that is unique to our product. This is how I ended up with the term “Neural Networks.”

A neural network is a series of algorithms that works to identify patterns in datasets using a process that mimics human brain functions. 

As KIT uses Artificial intelligence to help fundraisers recognize patterns and opportunities in their contact database, neural networks was an obvious choice to start the conceptualization of our logo.

 

The concept: a network of information, a network of people a network of data. 

This brings to mind abstraction, movement, and simplicity which were all themes that played an important part in the design and the overall feel behind the logo. 

 

Conceptualization

My design process always starts with hand sketches. It’s a great way to quickly generate ideas and explore the concept in better detail.

Hand drawn sketches iteration 1.0

After this initial sketch, I chose the ideas that seemed most interesting or appealing and transferred them into digital formats. Once those rendered, it was time to share my early stage concepts to the team to help me narrow down the direction of the design. 

 

Digital Iteration 1.0

Here are some of the early digital logo concepts.

From those iterations, the team identified five different approaches that could be representative of KIT’s brand identity (Data, elegant, smart, technology and unique to our product). Within those five approaches, there were two main directions we could take.

Abstraction: Represented by a data scatter with the floating dots moving toward a focus point.

or

Neural Networks: Represented by connecting the dots and unearthing available patterns.

The five approaches we started with. To the left are the two abstract representations and to the right are three neural networks.

Moodboard / Inspirations

After establishing the two different design directions for the logo, I created two separate moodboards to help me craft a vision for the design. The moodboard is a great tool for designers to help communicate concepts and visual ideas. It is a good way for me to keep focused on the design objectives throughout the process. 

 

Direction 1.0 / Abstraction 

There are quite literally trillions of gigabytes of data floating around in the world. Every single minute online there are 200 million emails sent, 4.7 million Youtube videos watched, 480,000 tweets constructed. Each of these leaves their own unique trace within the universe of data.

Using Abstraction as a guiding principle, I represented this data coming together around a focus point. This is what KIT is all about, regrouping data together, analyzing it, and then making accurate and actionable predictions for users. 

Here is the mood board for Direction 1.0 / Abstraction

Direction 2.0 / Neural Networks

Again, building on that initial design inspiration of a neutral network, this direction worked well to showcase the AI-driven technology that powers our product. I thought there were some nice visualizations we could use. 

Here is the moodboard for Direction 2.0 / Neural Networks

The Decision 

The first direction ended up being too abstract. And while very symbolic and representative, it had too much detail for a functional logo. Consider that, on a smaller scale, this type of logo will be harder to discern at a glance. One of the main rules of logo design is is must be simple and easy to digest. This is what makes it memorable. Used either as a favicon or on mobile devices, we feared the small data points would easily be lost, and in losing the detail, we would lose our audience. 

For this reason, we decided to go with Direction 2.0, neural networks.

Since the neural network is a fundamental part of our product offering, this made sense an approach that would easily and effectively portray KIT’s brand identity. 

I started looking into how neural networks are represented. It really inspired me and was an easy way to start creating the logo.

 

Iteration 1.0 

To begin, I started the design based on the different shapes of various neural networks. One from a more rectangular shape and another from a circular shape. I explored those two concepts and tried to create an interesting shape for the logo. 

The challenge was to keep it simple without losing the effect of representing a neural network. Finding the fine balance of elements would give us the perfect result.

 

Iteration 2.0 
Final Iteration 
The process behind the final iteration 

 

Final KIT Logo Design 

Again, building on that initial design inspiration of a neutral network, this direction worked well to showcase the AI-driven technology that powers our product. I thought there were some nice visualizations we could use. 

 

 

As in every new brand, you’ll find your ideas evolve and change over time. I believe we’ve settled on a logo that is timeless and will represent KIT even as the product continues to transform and grow. 

Designing this logo was a fun challenge and a very collaborative process. I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can leave a comment below.  

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