Tag Archives: identity


helium’s Take on the Google Logo Update

On September 1st Google introduced a new logo and identity family.


The design world and mainstream media has since been full of chatter discussing the new mark. So of course we wanted to weigh in on the discussion. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the details of the updated logo, take a quick jump over to Google’s design blog and then come back to us. Now that you’re up to speed, here’s our two cents on the redesign.

I might be a bit biased, because my name starts with an ‘e’ [okay – I’m more than a little biased], but the slanted ‘e’ at the end of the new Google logotype makes me smile. And successful brand experiences are all about making people feel like somebody has your back. Everything’s taken care of and you can smile. Looking farther than only 1 letter, the easy-to-read-at-any-size geometric font chosen for the revamped logo is genius. Let it be on your phone, desktop, or in an app – Google is undeniably the driving force that states its presence from right there in the corner.

I’m a big fan of the new Google logo. It brings out the kid in me, which I suppose was their intent. Every time I look at the two o’s together it makes me think of a pair of googly eye glasses. You know the silly black glasses that have eyeballs on springs. And I feel like the slanted little ‘e’ at the end of the mark is winking at me. The stand alone multi-colored ‘G’ symbol reminds me of the game Simon from the 80’s which always brings a smile to my face. Aside from my personal trip down memory lane, Google’s consideration of consistency in the logo display across  devices and bandwidth (previously the logo displayed differently for users with lower bandwidth internet, say in developing countries) acknowledges its desire to be helpful to all people no matter where or when.

Well, first things first, I have to make a comment on the lowercase ‘g’. From the launch in 1998 through revisits over the years, Google has embraced their lowercase, double-story ‘g’ for over a decade. In turn, they ditched that legacy and initiated this topsy turvy idea for the ‘e’. Not a fan, Google, not a fan.
I am, however, on the bandwagon of people who can appreciate this logo. Despite its appearance of a children’s classroom and its ability to fit perfectly on a handwriting worksheet, I think it becomes even more of an elevated and trusted brand that we know and feel comfortable with. It becomes effortless and uncomplicated across all platforms in an aesthetically pleasant manner however you use it. In anticipation of what’s to come from Google, I think it is a great fit.

It’s no easy task updating the identity for one of the most known companies in the world. I would have a mini freak out moment if helium were presented with that opportunity. The redesign was a pretty amazing transition from the not so great Google identity. Funny enough, it was an identity that was embraced for it’s quirkiness. The new logo exudes that same eccentricity while marrying it with a more updated, clean approach. They constructed an identity system that is playful, effective and well executed – much like the company itself.

I am bias. I’ve always appreciated the quirkiness of Google’s old identity. It may have appeared like something born from 1998, but it worked well for the eccentricity of the company. The modern, timeless letterforms are perfectly stylized and brought together by the repetition of their angles and shapes. It’s a fresh face for a company that didn’t need to do it, but showed that they are willing to evolve with culture.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Google’s new identity! Let us know [@heliumcreative] on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. #heliumlovesbrand


How Strong Brand Statements Create a Captivating Brand

A company’s core values and key terms, along with their mission, value and positioning statements, are essential components that influence the look and feel of a brand. Without them it would be like meeting a person without principles, without interests, without a story. Often times it’s difficult for a company to develop those statements about themselves. That’s where we come in. 😉

When clients come to us for branding we schedule a discovery session during which we ask a number of questions to figure out who they are as a company and how they would like to be perceived. It’s kind of like an initial meeting with a therapist where you’re expected to bare your soul to a complete stranger. We don’t bite, I promise. From our conversation during this session, plus our research and analysis on the company and their market industry, we identify and define the language that communicates the brand image.

Baird, a coastal engineering firm based in Canada, is a client we have been working with over the past few months. Chris + Ryan flew up to meet with the team at Baird to develop a better understanding of exactly what coastal engineers do. Hours were spent discussing the company history, why it was initially formed and what they love doing. From these conversations we identified the key terms pioneer, innovation, approachable and growth as essential to their brand. Core values at the heart of their organization are creativity, perseverance, candor and relationships. Our team mulled over these concepts to develop initial brand statements. We then discussed and revised these ideas until we were happy with the final statements we presented:

Mission Statement:
We are the pioneers. The innovators. Visionaries of unparalleled coastal engineering solutions.

Value Statement:
Baird pioneers innovative coastal engineering solutions by encouraging inquisitive, imaginative exploration of the unknown; where every voice is heard and ideas are paramount.

The terms and statements help us select imagery that speaks to the brand story. A story focused on pioneers, innovation, heritage, the ocean and the coast.




When revising the Baird logo we wanted to update their existing serif font with something that married classic with modern, while having the visual strength to  confidently communicate Baird as an industry leader. We have been crushing on Quarto for some time and thought it was a perfect fit for Baird.


We coined the tag line “Innovation Pioneered”. A simple, strong statement that positions Baird as a company always striving to lead the way in search of the best coastal engineering solutions.

The language initially selected will continue to influence the brand and ensure consistency as other design elements are  developed, especially the identity [business cards + stationery], website development and marketing collateral.

As you have seen, once the narrative is constructed it’s much easier to see who the brand is, what it looks like and how it sounds. If you’d like help crafting the essential components of your brand, contact us. We’d love to help!

Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook + Twitter @heliumcreative.com 😉