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How much does a logo really matter?

Or really, how much does the logo matter for a firm like Blume, or any other VC firm?

Well, there aren’t any studies thus far linking the aesthetics of the brand identity to the quality of its investments. But I don’t think any of us need a peer-reviewed study to convince us that there is no link between a well-crafted brand identity and a superior investing record.

Yet, I personally haven’t come across a single well-known and reputed investment firm with a poorly crafted brand identity; at least internationally. The logical answer to this paradox is that the reputation gets built first, and then the ‘investment’ in brand identity follows.

Blume is at this juncture today.

Blume has evolved, and now our brand identity has to evolve too.
We started in 2010, with a mission to reimagine startup finance for India. And a near decade on, this startup venture fund of ours has grown to become a key player in the startup ecosystem. We are launching our 3rd fund this year, our biggest ever, to back the next wave of transformational ventures and revolutionary founders, dreaming bigger dreams and burning with bigger ambition.

Just as our founders have evolved and grown, Blume too has grown with them, keeping up with their dreams and ambitions. We have expanded across people, offerings and geographies. And correspondingly, the Blume brand too has grown to occupy a far more prominent mindspace than before. Yet, even as Blume’s brand has grown, its brand identity has stayed the same.

Blume’s present, and now old logo

It was time for the brand identity to better reflect what the brand is. More importantly, we wanted a brand identity that would reflect what Blume was evolving into.

Rebooting Blume’s brand identity
To take a fresh look at what Blume’s revised brand identity should be, we turned to Synapse, a branding + communication agency, based in Goa. One of the reasons we picked Synapse and not a traditional identity design firm, was because of Synapse’s roots in information design, though they have diversified to offering all things and services, that help in “storytelling for businesses”.

Our broad brief to them was to create a brand identity that better reflected the Blume brand, and captured how Blume was evolving for the future. We were keen that the new identity convey on one hand a sense of permanence (as an investor brand, you want your customers to feel that you are going to be here for ever) and on the other our strong connection with founders.

Basis the above brief, the Synapse team created a series of explorations. Initially they started with hand-drawn sketches such as the one below…

Blume stands for ‘nurture’. This logo combines the aspect of ‘nurturing’ represented by petals along with a clever use of negative space showing wings that represent flight. Blume supports start-ups helping them take flight.

…to a series of formal explorations around creative interpretation of the above.

However, not all options focused on stylistically rendering the ‘B’ though. The one below on the left was a personal favourite of mine. Karthik however nixed it, saying it was too literal an interpretation. Well!

Gradually one of the interpretations caught our fancy (see below), and that became the basis for the final logo. This was a deconstruction of the letter B into a logo unit.

From this deconstructed B, Synapse launched a series of iterations to progress to a key element of our final logo, the interlink symbol, where the B and E join together to symbolize how we connect with our founders.

And then we landed at

and finally at

Dissecting the logo
So what does the logo stand for, and what does that symbol above the words ‘Blume’ mean?

In the words of Synapse, our agency: “The symbol is a combination of interlinked ‘B’ and ‘E’ as the first and last letter of the word Blume, communicating end-to-end synthesis between founders and investors. The symbol is also representative of two interlinked hands.”

In the process of designing we also ditched the word ‘Ventures’ from the logo unit. We felt there was enough awareness of ‘Blume’ as a startup venture fund for us to drop the ‘Ventures’ word.

‘Blume’ is written in a font called September, designed by typographer Rian Hughes, who probably has no idea that it is being used for a venture capital brand. Per Synapse “ The type unit has been carefully selected keeping Blume’s edgy personality in mind, while seeking inspiration from the curves in the symbol.” Hmmm….

The other ‘edgy’ aspect of the logo was the orange colour in the interlink symbol. It was one of three different colour options presented, and all of us at Blume on this project liked it. Primarily, we wanted the logo to look a tad spiky and different from all the monochrome logos out there.

Later after the logo was finalized, Sanjay found the following and shared with all of us. Validation of a kind!

Hit Refresh!
Over the next few weeks, the new Blume logo will start making its appearance across our visiting cards, stationery and other ‘collateral’. We will also be revamping our website, an effort led by Synapse’s sister agency Screenroot.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the new identity and its manifestation across all our collateral.

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