The story of the HelloGriff logo design

The story of the HelloGriff logo design 1024 340 HelloGriff | Graphic Design

When creating a logo design or any other graphic design project, one of the key pieces of advice I would give any client, customer or even fellow freelance graphic designer is consistency. Consistency is a key principle in any graphic design or branding work and maintaining a consistent standard, look and feel is how you can build trust with your customers. People are always more comfortable with what they are familiar with and having the same graphic design styling in your marketing is an easy way of achieving that.

That being said, when I look back at how my own logo for HelloGriff has evolved over the years, I have to hold my hand up and admit that I’m guilty of not following my own advice or these very basic graphic design principles. So, that got me thinking about when should a brand re-brand. Is it truly that terrible to keep changing a logo?

hellogriff 2020 logo design HelloGriff | Graphic Design

The HelloGriff logo design

Starting as a freelance graphic designer way back in September 2009, the HelloGriff logo was launched. The naming came about as initially, I was after a domain name with my full name involved but all the .com, variants etc were taken. So, the next option was to think of a name that could be associated with me but also memorable and a little light-hearted. Being called Griff in my high school days, it was a name I related to and also sounded very handy if I were to answer the phone in this greeting.

2009: The first logo design

The first variation of the HelloGriff was designed whilst still being employed full-time by a Nottingham creative agency, (all out-of-hours and in my own time I promise!)

hellogriff 2009 logo design HelloGriff | Graphic Design

Using a speech bubble graphic device seemed like an obvious choice, and this was combined with Alt Haas typeface, both Regular and Bold fonts. I never did a colour version of this logo and this choice of the black and white palette was also reflected in my business card and website design.

2013: 1st design update


In my mind, I thought this first update happened sooner than it did, but actually, it wasn’t updated until 2013. Meaning I hung until the first HelloGriff logo for almost 4 years! For this version, I decided to add colour with the speech bubble having a light to dark blue gradient. The logo itself sits on a clean background with the speech bubble being used more as a graphic design element. Adding the word ‘hi’ just seemed like a fun thing to do at the time. The typeface has changed to a slab serif as well.

2018: The 3rd HelloGriff logo

hellogriff 2018 logo design HelloGriff | Graphic Design

The second version of the logo design lasted around 5 years this time – something I should get back to trying to achieve. The main logo design principle stayed the same as the 2013 version but the uppercase HELLOGRIFF was changed to HelloGriff, which is still how I like to write the company name to this day. This was also updated to help soften the logo, with all capitals in slab serif looking too harsh. The speech bubble was re-designed to be a circular type and a script typeface which looked more friendly, approachable etc.

2019: 4th logo version

hellogriff 2019 logo design HelloGriff | Graphic Design

Just over a year later in 2019, I decided to re-design and take a new direction, but even at the time, I was never happy with this logo design. It was a bit rushed mainly due to the fact I was attending some in-person networking events and needed new business cards to hand out.

2020: The 5th and the latest version (for now?)

hellogriff 2020 logo design HelloGriff | Graphic Design
The 5th and the current version of the HelloGriff logo design was designed in 2020 at the start of lockdown. Like most businesses, my graphic design studio was a little quiet for the first few weeks with some projects such as logo design, and catalogue design being put on a temporary hold. I took the opportunity to update my website from scratch, changing the WordPress theme I had been using to one that allowed more options for a graphic design portfolio. Previously I had been using X theme but this was very limited to how a portfolio could be displayed which isn’t ideal for a freelance graphic designer or graphic design studio such as myself.

For this version of the logo design I wanted to have a design that was stronger than the 2019 version, that can sit by itself without the need for an icon or graphic device, which allows it to be more versatile across a range of uses. As this blog post is being written I’m fairly happy with this logo and also I want to get to at least 5 years before changing it again. Although I do ponder about ditching the blue and going full circle back to a full black logo.