Project: Branding The Tech Ninja
Kevin Nether reached out to me for a re-branding of his YouTube channel which is home to over 150,000+ subscribers. His company, "The Tech Ninja" focuses on cinematography, reviews of various tech products, and of course, technology.
"Less is more"
For The Tech Ninja, the core focus was to not do away with the old mark entirely, but to bring it up to date with a more modern look. The goal was to create a brand that was recognizable to old and new subscribers alike. One doesn't need to have the whole anatomy to recognize a human being, which in this case is a ninja. There are key elements that anybody can recognize and say "Hey, that looks like a ninja!" without the entire embodiment of one. So the first step was to remove the sandals, legs, hands, arms, as well as the tablet looking device that he is holding. All that is needed was his face mask with a bandana on his forehead, which can convey the message across more clearly without any additional elements.
Next was the type. What ended up fitting well with the mark was a bold sans serif typeface paired with a balanced distribution of weight among the words. I tried a variety of typefaces and weights to achieve a look that would accompany the mark well. A thin typeface didn't pair well with the overall image of a tech ninja, who would be right in your face. When thinking of a ninja, one can also often associate them with knives or other slicing weaponry. A stylization of the word "Ninja" to symbolize this was presented, but was ultimately scrapped. Option #2 without the slice stylization is what Kevin and I ended up going forward with, in which we then began pairing the mark and type together to begin working on color.
Based on the mark in 2009, green was a highlight color compared to the black and grays. I wanted to do the same thing, but for the logo mark. Finding the perfect distribution of visual weight for the green was a creative challenge itself. I went through various proposals demonstrating the hierarchy of the green. What ended up being the best option was to only make "Ninja" green. This worked because the fleshy tones of the ninja head helped visually balance the mark entirely. The final color palette consisted of a nice blend of darks, as well as lights.
Once everything was finalized, the last thing that needed to be done was appropriate spacing between the mark and text. Below is the finished product with the appropriate color palette.
Patterns, social media, & stationery
Pattern work included various shapes and symbols that were related to ninja's and technology. Below are three different variations of the patterns, as well as various color appropriate opacities. The pattern symbolically spells out "Tech Ninja" multiple times, as the symbols are laid out in the following order: ninja > tech > ninja > tech > ninja. Using these patterns, creating social media headers were second nature. Twitter, Facebook, as well as Google+ sized variants were created for each respectable profile.
As for the stationery, business cards and letterheads were created.
A style guide was also provided to complete the package, which can be downloaded here.