Friday, October 10, 2008

Branding case study - Unopix

Brand building is an interesting exercise I have always enjoyed. Even though I have not yet started any companies/brands of my own yet, I had worked on many ideas before. Recent examples are CoolMallu ( and Zosma ( Being a software guy, my initiatives start on the web and usually ends there before hitting the ground. The new idea I have in mind now is to setup a photo studio at my hometown Manjeri. This time I have started from the ground (by booking a building room at Manjeri) and is now planning to use web just as another medium to take it forward.

Even though I am going to start something very small, I like to think big… I mean, think very very big… at an international level!  There is nothing wrong in dreaming big; and dreams are the easiest affordable things you can find pleasure from :).  So the idea do not start from setting up a small town studio room. It starts from being a successful brand having branches/representations all over the world and doing all kinds of business (not just photography work). Naturally, you wouldn’t appreciate a name board like ‘Sameer Studio’ representing a software firm on Times Square in New York! ;)

The first part of brand building is naming. My idea of a great brand name includes following (based on many articles and expert opinions on branding):
-    Very very unique… No one would ever say I have seen another brand exactly like this.
-    Easy to pronounce… should rollout from tongue easily
-    No spelling ambiguity… you say the name over phone, and the buddy at the other end can write it right.
-    Not very long… less than say 10 letters.
-    Availability of .com domain. (It’s required to go international.)
-    Does not directly represent the business you are starting with… name should be still suitable if you get into a different domain of business.

After considering many names like Pixeloma, Ajania, Imagio, etc and receiving feedback from my well wishers, I have now finalized the name Unopix.

The next step is to make a logo. A logo may include the name, acronym, the font typeface, the colors used, the style of writing, a graphical symbol and tagline. For example, McDonald’s logo includes the yellow ‘M’ graphical symbol, “I’m lovin’ it” tag line and the red, yellow, white color combinations. But look at Microsoft logo… It’s just the name of the company written in Helvetica italic typeface, with a slash between the o and s.  It’s simple yet easily recognizable and powerful. I love this kind of simplicity and the cost advantage that comes along while printing/reproducing the logo on different surfaces.

My colleague and friend Hariprashanth spent some hard late night hours with me yesterday to come up with the logo for Unopix. He is an excellent creative designer. Thanks a million, Hari for this work and I am expecting more such helps from you :). In the logo, there is no separate graphical symbol (it adds more cost while implementing the branding) and no tagline (you always ends up in realizing that the tag line is not that relevant for your new venture). It’s just the company name written in a typeface that is simple and clear. There is just one twist… a single pixel (uno pix) standing out from the last letter.

Now comes the hard part. Choosing the right set of colors. The colors need to look interesting, pleasing, and cost effective on all mediums like web site, paper prints, sign boards, etc. I also plan to use these colors for everything related to Unopix, be it walls and work desks inside studio, visiting cards, web site, sign boards, and album covers.


So help me choose the colors… Please let me know which logo you liked by telling me its number (1 to 6 from top to bottom). Also let me know if you liked the name, and the logo.