Logos are important, primarily as an easy way to uniquely identify the brand. However, really great logos perform a dual role of telling your story.
My nocturnal thinking started at UX (user experience) and ended up at HX (human experience). Along the way, I got thinking about the Rx symbol that is used for medical prescriptions. I liked the old-school apothecary angle to it (Rx actually denotes a recipe that needs to be followed for the formulation), with a hint of alchemy.
That incorporated part of the brief to Nic Jooste, the designer with whom I’ve worked for about 20 years. The one non-negotiable was that the ‘x’ had to be small.
Nic then did a whole bunch of representations of Hx. What I learnt from this exercise is that the letter X is visually dominant. There are also a bunch of other associations that I wasn’t looking for (e.g. XGames, Xbox etc).
The letter H is also a tricky one, in that one runs the risk of looking like a knock-off of either H&M or Hamleys. The one famous ‘H franchise’ we were safe from mimicking was Harry Potter.
However, there was an H that I really liked. It stood strong and bold, with a rounded top left corner that gave it a slight quirk and softened it just a bit (interestingly, rounding more of the corners on the H killed the effect). There were various looser representations of X, including one that was in the vein of Japanese brush strokes.
I asked Nic to put them together, which may not exactly qualify me for inclusion in Clients From Hell, but could have caused some irritation.
The end result has a duality that acknowledges the complexity of humanness. The H represents the hard sciences, the left brain, the numbers and spreadsheets that are integral to business. On the other hand, the brush-stroked X speaks for art, contemplation, beauty, and the human touch. Orange has a sense of fun and playfulness.