What’s so great about logos? Of course your business needs one, but a well designed logo can convey all sorts of information at a glance. What do you do? What services do you offer? Your logo can draw in – or push away – potential customers before they’ve read a single word on your website.
Street Assist Edinburgh
Street Assist is a service which provides support, advice and first aid on the streets of Edinburgh to anyone who needs it – they may be homeless, suffering from the effects of alcohol, or visitors to the city who have become lost or separated from their companions. We worked with Street Assist’s founder Neil on a previous project, so when he was preparing to launch Street Assist in 2016 he came to us for a website and logo.
Although the service provides all kinds of help, not just first aid, we decided that the logo should clearly identify a Street Assist vehicle as a source of medical assistance in an emergency. Neil had a basic idea for a logo, which was that a “pulse” on the screen of a heart monitor could become the “A” of the word “Assist”. We took this concept and worked with him to turn it into a simple yet distinctive logo.
The Street Assist vehicles operate on the streets of Edinburgh on Friday and Saturday nights, so it was essential that the logo could be easily identified in poor lighting conditions. We settled on a bright green colour as it works on a dark background, for example on branded clothing for the service’s volunteers (the original idea was light green on dark green, like a monochrome monitor screen, but we decided dark blue made for a more pleasing contrast) but can also be easily seen on the white background of the service’s vehicles. The logo comes in two forms: a square version with text above and below the “pulse”, for use on clothing, social media profiles etc; and a long version which is used on the side of the service’s vehicles.
Sound of the Crowd
The original logo was somewhat understated, taking inspiration from the sophisticated “yuppie” era of the late 1980s, but analysis of website traffic showed that most visitors to the site were more interested in upbeat pop acts from earlier in the decade. With this in mind, we decided to give the site a bold, colourful new look representing a more populist view of the eighties.
Our proposal was that the site should look more like a pop magazine of the era, such as Smash Hits. In actual fact the new logo was more inspired by that magazine’s rival No.1, with outline lettering over a triangular background. With the addition of a second triangle the background also became a reference to the dual arrow “rewind” symbol on a cassette recorder, with its obvious links to music and the technology used to reproduce it in the eighties, plus a more general suggestion of “going back in time”.
The use of an outline font and geometric shapes allows for great flexibility when it comes to colour schemes. For maximum 1980s gaudiness the shapes can be filled with blocks of bright colour, and the logo’s colours can easily be changed to complement – or stand out from – its surroundings. The text can be stacked on top of the triangles for a square logo; or, with the text on one line, the triangles can be positioned on the left to suggest “rewinding”. Finally, the triangles can be used on their own in situations where the text would be too small to read, such as the favicon which identifies the website in the browser address bar.