July 4, 2019
A redesign that was long overdue

After twelve years of using the same logo, it was time for a redesign. An opportunity to do it right.

When I started Usecue in 2007 I needed a logo. I already loved typography so I chose for a typographic Swiss approach. Instead of choosing for Helvetica, I chose for the Open Sans, because it was open source. I experimented with font weights and finally came to a logo that consisted of the lowercase words ‘usecue web development’, where ‘usecue’ was bold (weight: 700) and ‘web development’ thin (weight: 300). Although it was visually pleasing, there was no real philosophy behind it. Finally, after twelve years of using this logo, I found the time for a redesign.

The new brand

I wrote an article called ‘A tribute to the web’. It outlines what the redesign/new brand aims to communicate: respect for the web. The new brand consists of three principles: the underlined u, the color blue and the font Times New Roman. The first two represent the term ‘usecue’ and the latter represents the absence of form. Let me explain…

The underlined ‘u’ and the color blue

The underlined lowercase ‘u’ is often seen on underline buttons in a WYSIWYG editor. Microsoft Word uses this symbol too for the same purpose and it can therefore be considered to have the universal meaning: ‘underline’. The word ‘usecue’ means product affordance: a characteristic of an object that indicates how it should be used. In the early days HTML pages consisted only of text with hyperlinks. The way to interact with these pages was to click on one of these hyperlinks. The hyperlinks where recognizable by two characteristics: an underline and their bright blue color. Therefore, the underline and the color blue were the first usecues of the web.

Times New Roman

Any font choice would be a design statement. An implicit expression of form instead of meaning. There was only one font I could think of that had more meaning than form (in this context): Times New Roman, the ultimate default serif of the web. The ‘absence of form’ is not something you would expect to fit a web development company. However, I mostly work for and with graphic designers, where I build their designs. So in my case it makes perfect sense. It even reflects my work process.

()  Joost van der Schee

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