You will no doubt notice that we have a new site design. It’s a completely refreshed and fully responsive experience that should hopefully put the user first.

It’s also a work in progress.

We of course value your feedback, and as evidenced by the huge amount of comments left on our first article published after launch, you’re not shy about providing it. This means we can improve the site based on the experience of its actual users.

So with that transparency in mind, let’s talk about another element of our redesign: the Econsultancy logo.

A brief history of the Econsultancy logo

The big red dot wasn’t always a big red dot. In 2002 the very first Econsultancy logo was this ‘definitely of its time’ version replete with unnecessary hyphen and an ill-behaved ‘y’.

Later in the same year we added a touch of blue…

Then in 2008 we adopted the red circle, added the strapline “Digital Marketers United” and finally dropped the hyphen.

In late 2013 we changed the strapline to “Achieve Digital Excellence” to reflect a wider online culture, and this the one we still use today…

The problem with responsive design and logos

Responsive design loves square shapes. They shrink down or automatically rearrange themselves easily when a screen size is altered for a different device. As for round shapes… they're not quite as amenable. 

So what do you do if a circle is integral to your brand? How do you manage this aspect of your visual identity across different channels? Do you change it wholesale across the board or do you vary it according to where it's being used? (Note that we still retain the round logo offline and even in the website footer.)

Here are some of the ways the issue has been tackled...

Round peg, square hole

Check out one of my favourite online entertainment sites, A.V. Club, as it adapts to different sizes from desktop...

To tablet...

To mobile...

It’s a joy to watch as the flat tiles shrink and reorder themselves. However did you notice what happened to the AV Club logo?

The once proud and round logo turned into a rectangle block of text. From this...

To this...

This change occurred just as the screen shrank down from ‘tablet’ to 'mobile' size. 

It’s a necessary change, as retaining the round shape would have rendered the text inside illegible and the original logo would have taken up valuable space on the mobile screen.

It's hip to be square

Brands, publishers and businesses that arrived after the domination of mobile devices as a primary screen, realised they had to use a logo that worked across multiple screen sizes.

Let’s take a brief look at some of these newer sites on mobile…

Even brands that existed before the internet have adapted to the change.

This year our sister publisher Marketing Week unveiled this redesigned logo as part of a complete brand refresh across print and digital.

Other brands which are fortunate enough to contain just a block of text as their logo have also been spared this responsive trip-up...

Let's go round again

But what of the venerable organisations where their spherical logo design is as famous as the brand name itself?

Yes these may be incredibly famous logos, which consumers can spot from a mile away, but here they feel somewhat lost. The Ford logo in particular looks like it’s struggling to find a comfortable resolution.

Some companies have managed to adapt its logo as the years have passed and design trends have come and gone.

Microsoft has gone from wavy or circular…

to this modern, flat design...

Back to us…

So where does this leave your favourite digital marketing resource and its big red dot?

As you can see we’ve had to go rectangular too. This is how the new logo appears on the blog homepage on a mobile…

However we’re not just a blog, we have an entire portfolio of training courses, research and reports to offer our customers, so our homepage needs to reflect this.

In the current iteration of our refreshed design, the homepage shrinks down from the desktop to mobile, from this…

to this...

On the homepage we’ve retained the circular logo as well as the new rectangular one in the top right.

And this is where your thoughts come in… Do you think we need this twin-attack of branding here? Does it work better for the desktop, where the smaller logo is possibly a bit lost? Which do you think is more appropriate for mobile? And how much does it even matter? 

Please let us know your opinions in the comments below… 

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 5 December, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (3)

Neale Gilhooley

Neale Gilhooley, MD at Evolution Design Ltd

The small red square logo on the Desktop version is a bit lost and looks like part of the navigation menu, moused-over perhaps. It is a bit lacking in character which a new typeface choice could help with .

I don't use the mobile version.

So what UX testing did Econsultancy do?

almost 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

John Byrne, Designer at Sitemakers

I think it looks a bit lost too as a rectangle. Your 'stand out' items are the red, the circle and the angle of the type, you have lost two of those in this version. Had you considered using the E in a small red circle (at an angle) with the wording part of the brand 'econsultancy' alongside in the dark grey used throughout the site – for smaller screens?

almost 3 years ago

Richard Fullerton

Richard Fullerton, New River Marketing

Still waiting for my comment to appear....

almost 3 years ago

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