Design decisions are hard, and they’re even harder when a lot is at stake. When it came to designing the new logos of Zoho Finance products (Zoho Books, Zoho Invoice, Zoho Subscriptions, Zoho Expense, Zoho Payroll, Zoho Inventory and Zoho Checkout), we looked at innumerable variations and sat through dozens of review meetings waiting for that final perfect version to emerge. However, there was something keeping that goal just out of our reach.
Like any other team, we have a few unwritten design rules that we’ve always followed. One such rule was that a product logo should convey the nature of its product as blatantly as possible. This habit of ours was probably a result of our general design sprint methods, where the most important goal was to be super obvious to our users.
However, this wasn’t working with our logos. The more we tried to convey the entire product inside the logo, the more it looked like a strangled set of random lines. For comparison, here is our existing set of logos.
As much as we liked these logos, they had some limitations. The first obvious problem was that we were denied entry to the Line-Styled Logo Club, to which almost the entire Zoho ecosystem now belongs.
The next problem was that since the launch of our first product, Zoho Invoice, the fin-tech market has opened up to accommodate modern innovations in both design and technology. While the products have certainly been evolving to match the market, their logos got left behind and needed a design refresh to reflect their products’ bold, open values.
The team came up with dozens of new logo variations for each of our products, but we hit a snag when it came to choosing one as all of us had mixed thoughts on them.
While we were delighted to know that we had numerous options to choose from, the fact that we couldn’t choose any one of them cautioned us to rethink those unwritten design rules. If change is inevitable in design, then so is the fall of age-old design lore.
After this realization, it was time to get started on the specifics. As for the color, we concluded that all of the logos should be within the color palette of the colored blocks in the Zoho logo. We made a trade-off with respect to the details, to give each logo a reduced weight and allow it to stand out with well-defined white spaces in and around it.
With some new ground rules in hand, the team now had the goal of keeping the logos as subtle as possible while retaining the remnants of our old logos. After a few more constructive iterations, the team ended with the new logos below, which not only looked as graceful as the old ones but also expressed the product’s themes clearly and boldly.
We believe the new logos represent a renascence of our design lore, which we’ll carry forward to the entirety of the product from now on. Wish us luck and we hope you love these as much as we do.