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Todoist Logo Design Process

Todoist Logo Design Process

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Todoist Logo Design Process

Before design Before getting started with rebranding, it was important to first ask ourselves, why? Why rebrand? What was missing from our previous logo and visual brand? What do we expect with this new identity system? What purpose do we want our new logo to fulfill? The previous Todoist logo — designed in 2010 by Claan — connected a T and D to represent the initials of our product name. However, Todoist is not “To Doist”, it is not made up of two separate words, and therefore makes little sense using “TD” as the initials. In addition, the old logo didn’t convey anything about our software or our company’s values. “Achieve more, every day.” That is the fundamental idea we wanted to communicate to our users with a strong, memorable symbol of our product and company.

The logo of Todoist form 2011-2015

Getting the ideas Iterations Logo Refinement Typography Final logos

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Todoist Logo Design Process

To get the idea for our new logo, we asked ourselves, what elements make a logo great? We identified 3 fundamental characteristics we wanted to strive for: 1. Identifiable — to stand out from all the to-do app. 2. Simple — to make the users easily memorise. 3. Communicable — to make the user have a clue of what the app is for. We wanted to find a key image or object that would communicate the use of the Todoist app. We wanted people to know what Todoist is about when searching it in app stores and be able to recognize it afterwards. In the beginning, we tried to come out with as many ideas as possible that could be linked with the idea of a to-do list. Below are some of our very first ideas: Abstract ideas: Gradient, repetition, fluctuations, up, red.

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1. Gradient 2. Repetition 3. Fluctuations 4. Up-right 5. Red

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Todoist Logo Design Process

Concrete objects: Paperclip, checkmark and checkbox, fluctuation graph, papers, bell, calendar, hamburger icon, notepad.

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1. Paperclip

6. Calendar

2. Check and checkmark

7. Hamburger icon

3. The Fluctuation graph 4. Papers 5. Bell (Reminder)

8. Notepad

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Todoist Logo Design Process

Iterations After the initial brainstorm, we undertook several dozen rounds of iterations to find the best fit for the Todoist logo. Here are a few of them:

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Todoist Logo Design Process

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The logo we ultimately settled on incorporates 3 white checkmarks on a field of red. The three checks inside could be viewed as both a stack of paper lists or three checkmarks. Why three? Three can be associated with a process toward completing an important project — starting, doing, done — and the small small steps that make up larger accomplishments. But we knew it was not final without refinement.

Smoothed out the hard corners of the logo to make it less aggressive.

We tried to find the better shape for the logo, the circle was the first shape we applied.

The logo looked awkward aligned centrally to the square and the hard corners of the square looked aggressive.

In the end, we smoothed out the corners of the background square, also placed the logo to the left. The right side of logo was intentionally cropped to leave more imagination to the logo.


Todoist Logo Design Process

Logo Refinement Now that we had the overall design concept, we needed to refine the details to create an iconic, yet flexible that would be impactful and recognizable in any context. To start, we translated every visual detail into geometrical proportions.

The new logo background could be divided by the radius of rounded corner by 8. Height : Circle Radius = 8:1

The ratio between the dimension of logo and background are 1:1.6 which is close to the Golden Ratio (1:1.61803...)

a:b = 8:5 = 1:1.6

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Todoist Logo Design Process

Below is the final logo of Todoist with it’s constructional grid.

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Todoist Logo Design Process

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In order to make the check marks look the same in both the positive and negative versions, we adjusted their width slight and added more space in between.

The ball on the left looks visually bigger than the ball on the right side.

Before the modification, the checks on the left looks narrower than the right.

After the modification, the checks inside the logo look the same size between positive and negative.


Todoist Logo Design Process

The comparison between the positive and the negative logo.

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Todoist Logo Design Process

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Wordmarks & Typogrpahy While choosing a typeface for the wordmark, we were looking for something classic, clean, and neutral, but still be recognizable. The geometric sans-serif typefaces usually convey a fresh and modern look, nevertheless, they sometimes lack of humanity or emotion. We explored several typeface options, in the end Avenir Next was chosen to be the typeface our wordmark. Designed in 1988 by the legendary typeface designer Adrian Frutiger, Avenir Next is a classic, timeless typeface that still manages to convey a sense of humanity in its letters. The legendary typeface designer Adrian Frutiger.

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVW XYZ 1234567890 (:;.!?/#*)

t

t

Avenir Next - Demi Bold 24pt.

Comparing both geometrical typface. Futura (left) and Avenir Next (right). The final of lower case t still keep a sense of humanist typefaces.

The original prototype of the Todoist wordmark, Avenir Demi Bold with Todoist logo.

todoist

todoist


Todoist Logo Design Process

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However, the Avenir typeface still needed a few modifications:

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1. The ascender of lower case d was too high, which makes it looks cold, thus we intentionally descended it. 2. The relationship between lower case s and t is awkward, not only too close, but the terminals of s looks very noisy in the composition, to solve this, we changed its degree to horizontal. 3. To match with the check of the logo, we cut the upper terminal of lowercase t to 23 degree, this also added some humanity and rhythm to the wordmark. 4. The hard coner was aslo smooth-out in order to match the style of logo.

The final wordmark of Todoist.

The final lockup (logo with wordmark).


Todoist Logo Design Process

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Graphik by Commercial Type foundry is the accompanying typeface of our logos due to its similarity of Avenir but with better readability (lower acsender height) , it’s a hybrid of Neue Grotesque and Geometrical typeface.

Graphik Medium

Avenir Next

aijgkt

aijgkt

The similarities in characters between Graphik and Avenir Next.

Graphik Extralight

Graphik Light

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST UVWXYZ 1234567890(:;.!?/#*)

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST UVWXYZ 1234567890(:;.!?/#*)

Graphik Regular

Graphik Medium

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST UVWXYZ 1234567890(:;.!?/#*)

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST UVWXYZ 1234567890(:;.!?/#*)

Graphik Semibold

Graphik Bold

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST UVWXYZ 1234567890(:;.!?/#*)

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST UVWXYZ 1234567890(:;.!?/#*)


Todoist Logo Design Process

Final Logos of Todoist

Todoist Logo

Todoist Wordmark

Todoist Signature Lockup

Todoist Vertical Signature Lockup

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Todoist Logo Design Process

Todoist icons are slightly different in order to fit the look and needs of each system.

Android

Windows 10

OS X

iOS

WatchOS

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Todoist Logo Design Process  

Take an insider look into the complete design process behind Todoist’s new logo and recent rebranding. Inspired by the three steps of comple...

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