Kill your darlings.
Letting go of something good. It’s a fascinating concept that people struggle with.
Designers are born to kill their darlings.
We’re raised to strangle them by the throat until their eyes begin to bleed. We keep picking, and picking, and picking, until we’ve broken the surface, and they reveal their dirty little secrets.
Then, we kill them.
And it’s today that another darling is laid to rest. And today more than ever, I have no mercy.
The Canny logo mark, and for that matter, our brand identity as a whole, has always bothered me.
Canny Creative, blue dot.
Canny, blue dot.
canny, blue dot.
It was designed out of necessity, in my spare bedroom, on a wet Wednesday morning, while I was sitting in my Superman pyjamas, feeling anything but.
Sick to the back teeth of iteration. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse, repeat.
It’s a story as old as time. The cobbler’s shoes are never fixed.
The designer’s logo is never finished.
Spinning my wheels I grew sick quickly.
Alas… I decided on a route forward.
No finesse required. Sans-serif typeface, black, blue dot. Simple. Easy.
Why blue? It’s my favourite colour.
Why black text? Looked nice on the white, and combined with the blue, reminded me of Newcastle’s old kit when we were sponsored by Newcastle Brown Ale.
Why sans-serif? Because I got sick of looking for serifs.
So, why kill my darlings?
Because it was never really my darling at all.
The old Canny identity existed for nearly five years and never meant a single damn thing.
And that just isn’t the way we play these days.
From the Beginning
When Canny Creative started, it was just me, designing out of my lovely little home office in Seghill, a small former mining town in Northumberland.
I started like everybody else in the industry, fighting for scraps. Bits of jobs here and there.
Steadily, and over time, relationships grew, and my client base grew. I was recommended by one company to another. The jobs got progressively larger, and my confidence scaled with it.
I knew things were going well, but never in a million years could I have imagined Canny Creative growing into what it is today.
Over time, we managed to win work in Japan, Dubai, Canada, and the USA.
Canny was growing up.
We Never Really Grew Up
The Canny Creative website has seen more facelifts than a plastic surgeon.
But our brand identity has always remained.
Canny, blue dot.
We’ve always referred to the business as Canny. Unless it’s in trouble, then we give it it’s full Sunday name, just like you do with your first born child.
When things got real for the business, the brand identity we always had, scaled with us.
But it never actually scaled.
What actually happened was we started to cobble more and more things together, and our brand identity ended up looking like Elmer the elephant crossed with Frankenstein’s monster.
A patchwork mess. Not a single consistent element. And nothing to be proud of.
Two office moves, and five staff members later, we decided it was time to disobey Peter Pan. It was time to grow up.
Enter the Partner Link
For the first time since Canny’s creation (pun intended!), we’ve introduced a logo mark into our brand identity.
Over the last several years, one of our core brand values has emerged as “partnership over profit.”
Today, I’m proud to present our new logo mark, the Partner Link.
Our new logo mark embodies several concepts:
- It’s the coming together of two parts, representing the way Canny slot seamlessly into our partner’s organisations
- The shape is made up of two Cs, representing both Canny Creative, and Canny and their Clients
- The mark also represents a minimal representation of a hyperlink, reflecting our work in the online space, but also representing the strong links we have with our clients.
The Partner Link paired with the strong and striking sans-serif typeface Silka, embodies our brand.
We create strong partnerships with our clients, and the work we create makes complex concepts simple.
But that’s not all.
Our New Website and Positioning
With every rebrand, comes a brand new online platform and digital experience.
And Canny is no exception.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, our website has also changed significantly, in-line with our new brand identity.
We’re moving away from creating pretty pictures, to “helping brands get results, globally.”
Five years ago, we were the new kids on the block. And to say we were a global branding agency would have been laughable.
To this day, we’re outliers. We don’t fit into the trendy city centre cliqué.
But what we do is partner with clients around the world, to help them drive real business results with their branding, websites, and content strategies.
It’s not only our identity that’s stepping up. It’s the whole business. And to say we’re a global brand agency these days, feels exactly right.
And we’re here to stay.
Introducing Our New Content Service
However, the main way we’ve won business at Canny, is through creating unique content that attracts and engages an audience.
We started with blogs, then moved into video, and soon, we’ll be launching our own podcast.
With the launch of our rebrand, we’re also launching Canny’s content strategy service.
Check out our brand new content page for more information.
The Future’s Bright, The Future’s Green
Canny’s future looks bright, and I’m excited by where we’re headed as a creative team, and a business.
As a creative agency, the rebranding process has been long and drawn out. We went back to the drawing board more times than we can count.
And, I’m pleased to say that our six month endeavour comes to an end today.
But for Canny, the end is just the beginning.
Here’s to an exciting future. Now, pass the biscuits.
reading time: 6 minutes