When I decided to start a partnership with my friends to design and produce Singapore identity-inspired products, one of the first things that I got down to do was our name and logo (and tagline).
I’d wanted to create a part-slogan name, a name that in itself shows and guides what we do. A name that popped into my head was “We create”, quite understandably because we literally create novel products based on what the Singapore identity means to us. When I pondered further about what we do, I realised that we mainly re-create; we study our past, societal traits, landmarks and history, and then re-create and translate them into products such as wooden postcards and notebooks. Another name thus crept into my mind: “Re-create”.
I was equally drawn to both names, and for quite a while couldn’t decide on which to use. Both embody the essence of our business, and both would guide us as we strive to create new products and designs.
And then an idea struck me: I’d merge the names and use both of them.
Thus, ribbon typography was borne.
With ribbon typography – typography with a 3D, ribbon tweak – I merged the w and r glyphs. The resultant name is WeCreate. What’s special, though, is that because of the hybrid w-r glyph, the logo reads both WeCreate and ReCreate. While at first glance it reads WeCreate, with a shift of perspective, it reads ReCreate as well. With ribbon typography, I managed to get the best of both worlds in terms of the meaning behind our company logo and name. And then there’s more.
Applying ribbon typography, I merged the e and a glyphs in our logo to form a glyph reminiscent of the symbol of infinity. This signifies our unending passion in creating products that reflect the Singaporean-ness in all of us. Just as extremes are often juxtaposed in strange harmony in Singapore (picture the melting heat outside freezing-cold malls, glass skyscrapers behind traditional shophouses), so is the concise mathematical emblem of infinity juxtaposed here with typography, design and imagination to create something that we, as a company, stand for.
I’ve always thought that our company logo would be best left with an open ending, to signify an openness of mind that’s so critical to creating increasingly better design and product ideas. But then, how could I embody a sense of open-endedness with our logo? Of course – through ribbon typography.
In creating an open-ended, hanging e glyph through ribbon typography, I attempted to instil a sense of an open mind and of exciting uncertainty. Positioning our tagline – one that guides us towards our vision – onto the glyph would then complete the logo design.
As much as I’ve deliberated about the design of our logo, I’ve thought about the wording of tagline. It has to be clean, clear and yet show a hint of imagination.
reimagine. redesign. redefine boundaries. Such a tagline urges us to re-imagine the essence of the Singapore identity, redesign them into novel, unique products, and by doing so, redefine the boundaries of locally-inspired products.
But there’s more to this tagline than it first seems. The discerning eye would spot that the r glyphs used in the tagline is the same that’s present in the w-r glyph in the logo. If you take the tagline, stretch it’s possibilities like I did with ribbon typography, and add a dash of imagination, it’ll read: we imagine. we design. we define boundaries.
Combining the different elements of our logo – ribbon typography, infinity and the open-ended tagline – the final design for our company’s logo is borne: