Change is afoot at note-taking specialists Evernote, and even its pet elephant Mads is feeling the effects. London, San Francisco and Sydney based branding agency DesignStudio has partnered with the app to present a rebrand that reflects that fact that the way people use the service has changed a decade on since its launch.
Alongside the introduction of a new wordmark that comprises of initial case serif typography, with what DesignStudio refers to as “an editorial feel that nods to Evernote as a writing tool,” it’s also given Mads a makeover.
“The original elephant was a brilliant mark, symbolically representing Evernote’s ability to help consumers remember everything. It exuded a personality and charm, that helped differentiate Evernote from other tech companies,” DesignStudio’s creative director Ty Whittington tells us. “We didn’t want to lose this spirit, but the existing mark was ten years old and felt a bit tired.” So DesignStudio has simplified the original shape, and changed it from an outdated grey to a vibrant green.
Speaking to Evernote’s executive creative director Jonathan Woytek, it becomes apparent that redesigning elephants takes serious amounts of thoughtful consideration.
He tells us that while Mads “had aged fairly well, there were some structural issues to iron out.” The first of these involved softening his edges a little to “make him feel more balanced.” Then they considered unfolding Mads’ ear – “which evokes both the dog-eared page of a book and the common icon for a document” – but instead chose to honour the company’s past and double down on its significance by increasing the size of it. His trunk was rounded, too, which Jonathan says “added a more defined slope in the forehead to give a sense of forward momentum.”
Both Evernote and DesignStudio are keen to insist that this visual sprucing up is a case of “brand evolution rather than reinvention,” with Evernote’s Francie Strong telling us, “a reinvention would mean that we were changing completely (and we asked our partners at DesignStudio to go for range, to frighten us, make us uncomfortable). But throughout the process, it was clear our mission was as relevant as day one but over time has evolved.”
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