When Winnipeg law firm TLR Law came to us to talk about building a new website, they weren’t really thinking about changing their logo too. We ended up building a new logo because the process we followed clearly showed it was needed.
Our process for developing a website (or really any creative branding or communications project) always starts with a creative brief. We need to make sure we clearly understand what the website needs to do. We also need to know exactly how to express the client’s brand on the site.
If the initial creative brief doesn’t sounds right, that is a sign that there’s a gap in our knowledge or our thinking. It signals a need for more research to make sure that everyone involved understands what we’re trying to accomplish.
TLR Law has a clear mission: make law accessible to the average Canadian. They aim to deliver legal counsel and services in plain language, so their clients understand their legal situations clearly.
Judging from the dozens of positive Google reviews, the firm is successfully accomplishing its mission. People appreciate the attention to detail the lawyers and legal professionals of TLR Law offer. They’re professional, friendly and approachable.
As we went through that process with TLR Law, it quickly became apparent that the old logo didn’t fit with the current and future vision of the firm. They knew they wanted something that was more stylish and contemporary in design. We suggested it was time to add some colour to help to express that identity.
Defining The Brand
TLR Law calls itself Winnipeg’s neighbourhood law firm. That suits them perfectly. They don’t offer every kind of legal service. If you need litigation help, for example, TLR Law will refer you to another firm. Instead, TLR Law specializes in services that the average Canadian family needs as they go through their lives. Their practice areas are:
Wills and Powers of Attorney
Probate and Estates
Corporate and Commercial
So, our creative brief told us that the firm has a clear mission. It also told us who they serve and what they do. We knew that TLR Law is located in St. Boniface but serves people all over Winnipeg and its surrounding area. They offer services in both French and English. We also knew they were professional, friendly, transparent and specialized. And they cared deeply about helping their clients with their legal problems.
There was another element of their brand that we needed to recognize. Since the firm has been in business for many years, we knew that the old logo was well established (especially in St. Boniface where TLR Law principal Philippe Richer is well known). Knowing too that law is a conservative profession and clients like steadiness over sudden changes, we recommended that the new logo had to share some traits with the old.
We proposed that the new logo should be an evolution rather than a brand new design. Philippe and his team agreed.
Adding Some Colour
Part of the process was to do a deep dive into thinking about colours. Since the old logo was black and white, we had an entire rainbow of choices in front of us. TLR Law was clear that they didn’t want the new logo to look like a typical downtown law firm. They wanted something that was a bit more fun and fitting the mid-market of households that they served.
We use a few tools to play around with colour selection. For this project, we used Adobe Illustrator as well as a couple of other tools. A good free tool for colour selection is ColorHexa, which provides colour scheme options and alternatives if the colour isn’t quite right.
The Colour Affects System is another that can be very helpful as it delves into some of the intangible, emotional qualities that colours bring to a brand.
After going through many options, we selected four colours that everyone agreed would bring out the right kind of brand attributes. Have a gander at the styleguide below.
Once we had all of that information, our design team set to work. We developed a large number of potential new logos. A lot of them went immediately into the junk pile, but eventually we narrowed them down to a selection of three options that we sent to the client.
TLR Law says they’re very pleased with the new look, which makes us very happy as well. It’s a natural evolution from the old logo, keeping the circle and the bold TLR in the middle of the mark. We updated their font as well, using Quicksand to bring a contemporary and distinctly stylish feel. Finally, TLR Law used the opportunity to update their ‘trading as’ name, simplifying it in both English and French.
We built a primary logo, which will be used in most applications, plus a secondary horizontal version for special uses.
What changes have you made to your branding lately? If you’re thinking it’s time for a new look, and you like the process we follow, we’d love to hear from you.
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Our Winnipeg office is located on Treaty 1 Territory, the original lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Anishininiimowin (Oji-Cree) and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Seven Council Fires) peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. We acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past and we seek to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of respect, reconciliation and collaboration.