2012-02-10

Happy Cog Rebrands

Over a decade ago, Jeffrey Zeldman's Happy Cog was a boutique web design studio in New York City, performing groundbreaking web design work in a medium that was brand new and evolving quickly. Fast forward 13 years, and Happy Cog has grown to a multidisciplinary, industry-leading consultancy with offices in New York City, Philadelphia, and Austin. And last year, we expanded beyond client services with the launch of our professional grade Happy Cog Hosting service and our series of e-commerce templates for Shopify.

With the industry changes that have occurred, we've seen our business change too. Not so much with respect to our core philosophy, but with the way we talk about ourselves and the work we do. And we started to feel that our brand was falling a bit out of sync with those changes.

In the fall of 2011, we decided the time was right to consider what was next for our brand. We wanted to work with a small, top-tier studio that would understand our heritage, and could relate to our culture and values. It was also important to find a studio with a sound process and uncompromising attention to detail. We were looking for a firm like our own.

We found everything we wanted and needed with Christian Helms and his Austin-based studio Helms Workshop.

"We were well-aware of Happy Cog's history in the industry and their stellar reputation," said Helms. "The opportunity to help them refine a slightly dated brand identity was particularly exciting for us."

Helms employed a collaborative and iterative design approach, very familiar to us, which made working with their design team seamless.

Christian and his team were very flexible in designing a process that accommodated our specific requirements. We progressed through multiple ideas and iterations, and the work was scrutinized by both Happy Cog's principals and design team.

"There is always anxiety around working with a completely new creative team," said Happy Cog President Greg Storey. "Especially when the result is so important. Christian and his team put us at ease from day one."

When describing what his team was striving for, Helms added, "With so many different ventures, from development to publishing to entrepreneurism, it was important to craft an identity that is not descriptive, but more emblematic. It should reinforce their values and heritage but be applicable to support future endeavors as well."

The results of this comprehensive work is debuted on Happy Cog's newly redesigned website, launched on February 10, 2012.

The entire Happy Cog team is thrilled with the new brand identity and excited to share it with the industry.

"I'm very pleased where things ended up," said Happy Cog President Greg Hoy. "The Happy Cog brand is highly regarded by our industry. It was paramount that Helms Workshop understand why that is, and in the new work, to make sure that our hallmarks of thought leadership and roll-up-your-sleeves craftsmanship came through. It did."

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