Kilian Valkhof

Front-end & user experience developer, Jedi.

Fluxility’s logo font evolution

Design, 24 March 2008, 4 minute read

One of the things I believe in strongly is self reinvention. Both on a personal and on a more business related level. At least in part because of that, the Fluxility logo font has changed three times since the company’s inception in 2005. This post is about the rationale behind these changes and the reasons for choosing each font.

Fluxility design is currently taking a break (well… we really try to, anyway) to work on more personal projects. This free time gives for some introspection about our brand, our image and the past three years of fluxilliness.

Reinvention

Just like how you need a new hairdo once every few years*, It’s my believe that young companies need to constantly re-evaluate their image and brand and change whenever it’s needed.

While I can keep my haircut for a fair while longer, for each day that your clients interact with your “old” brand, the harder it will be to successfully change it later on. Release early, release often is a mantra that, I think, also fits well with the evolution of a company brand within it’s first couple of years.

*currently overdue for one

Fluxility in 2005

As a 16 year old kid in 2005 I didn’t have any experience with typography design. I’m ashamed to admit, but the choice of our first logo font went like this:

  1. look for “fluxility” on dafont.com (no results)
  2. look for “flu” on dafont.com (1 result)

That one hit was a font called Fluoxetine, a grungy, font-melting-out-of-it’s-borders type of font. I loved it. The difference between the rigid shapes and the molten, fluid, flexible inner of the font represented both how we were still adapting to our roles and how we were also “breaking the mould”.
'Fluxility design' set in Fluoxetine

However, this font also had some downsides. For one it was a bit childish. It also looked really muddy in small font sizes. While it fit us well in the first year when we were trying to find our own way, it eventually had to change.

2006: Greyscale Basic

At the end of 2006 we set out to change our website (and general image) and decided that Fluoxetine no longer fit what we were trying to tell people about us. We were a lean, modern and approachable company. We weren’t trying to fit into anybody’s mould any more. (That sounds way more dramatic than intended)

So in December 2006 we chose Greyscale Basic as our new, updated logo font. It’s a modern, almost futuristic font with very clean shapes.

Besides having very clean shapes, it’s also quite thin. This thinness to me expressed a form of sophistication that we wanted to show with Fluxility. In those years our prospects had quite some skepticism because of our age and relative inexperience with the business side of things. The sophisticated feel of this font had to counter some of that.

'Fluxility design' set in Greyscale Basic

Does this font have downsides? Well, a small one. It feels quite technical in part because of the rigid corners. This, in my eyes, actually created some distance as it lacks a bit of humanity and softness. In a comic book, this font would be used for robots, not for humans.

2007: Montag

When, in September 2007, I stumbled upon Montag, I immediately fell in love. It had everything Greyscale had in terms of sophistication, it felt modern and had clean shapes. But unlike Greyscale Basic, it’s rounded ends and gentle curves made it feel more likeable, more approachable and more human.
'Fluxility design' set in Montag

Right now we use Montag light for our logo, and I’m really, really happy with it. It’s the only pay-for font of the three, So the chance of bumping into it somewhere else is much lower. (A small benefit.)

I can see us keeping this font for a long time to come.

How about you?

Now that I’ve shared the rationale behind Fluxility’s logo fonts I’m interested to hear about yours. It’s worth noting that, when we set out in 2005, We didn’t plan on iterating our brand like this. It’s worked out very well though, and I’m glad we were comfortable enough about our brand to change parts of it.

Thanks for Reading!

I am Kilian Valkhof, a front-end and user experience developer from the Netherlands.
Contact me or ping me on twitter.

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