Is the first impression the best solution?

The thrill of a new project increases, an electrifying flow of inspiration rushes through. The first idea sounds great and when you scribble it down you’re sure you’ve nailed it. We’ve all been there.

Sometimes, when the next stages unfold and the stardust settles, you realize your first impression was not as good as it seemed. That first great idea won’t work. When you research, you realize it’s not differentiating enough. Or when you sketch it, you see it’s not the ideal concept. Or when you design the first drafts, you recognize it’s not feasible for some reason. Or…

We’ve all been there. And we’ve found a way out.

Hurdles like these make us stronger. That sense of conquest when the path is steeper gives certain projects a special meaning. But these cases also provide a peculiar value to projects when it’s easier to achieve a great result.

One of those examples, when the first impression was the best solution, is the ILUMINATORE rebrand.

At an informal lunch, by the time we were already having a coffee, the company’s CEO pulled out an A4 sheet of paper with the logo printed on it and requested my opinion.

I looked at an unclear lighthouse mark, with disproportionate size in relation to the company’s name written on the right, as he explained it was designed 15 years ago. Without breaking silence, I continued to look at the logo while he admitted it needed to change and identified many things he would like to modify.

“What do you like about it?” I asked.

He answered “I like that it is a lighthouse and that guides you in the right direction”. That being the only positive note, I advised him to keep the concept – the lighthouse – but redesign everything else. A new lighthouse mark that could be used by replacing the second letter i and possibly be applied individually for responsiveness. A modern look and feel. New colors and redefined typography. The same concept with a new identity.

That first impression and initial advice, although generated at that precise moment without research or further discovery, went on to be the final rebranded version.

The first impression was the best solution. That’s why these projects are special. You make it look easy and you know it. We’ve all been there. It’s a great place to be. Isn’t it?

Check out the ILUMINATORE rebranding project here.

I’m still not sure how to sign-off these posts, so…


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