Client Case Study

Live Cat Toys

logo + stationery

Cats are hunters – it’s in their nature, and while a fluffy at the end of a string¬†is entertaining, nothing beats something they can really go after. Live Cat Toys delivers exactly that – this innovative startup ships only the fattest, juiciest flies for the entertainment of domesticated felines.

A new business like this could quickly bring a lot of imitators out of the woodwork, so our goal with this project was to create a unique logo that would be memorable, while at the same time visually communicating the product.

Memorable logos exploit the reiteration effect

While something memorable is a requirement of most logos, it is especially important for any company that might garner some attention through the news or social media.

Recognizing the logo after seeing it elsewhere builds consumer confidence in that company’s products or services through the reiteration effect (aka frequency-validity). It is a bias that makes a person think that they are already familiar with the company, just because they’ve seen it before, and even when they can’t recall exactly where or even the context, recognizing it brings a sense of familiarity and reduces the associated risk of purchase.

A bad logo hurts your business, while a good logo helps it

Not to mention that a professional-looking logo communicates that everything else the company does must also be professional and therefore reliable. In fact, this tendency of ours to judge based on the first impression is so strong, that we even have sayings like: never judge a book by it’s cover to remind us not to draw wrong conclusions based only on appearance, though of course that’s exactly what we end up doing most of the time anyways.

With the logo being the first thing people usually see, it’s this very knee-jerk judgment that we as designers always want to exploit, so a well-thought-out logo could act like a selling tool, while a poor logo can really negatively impact sales.

To reflect our client’s product – large bluebottle flies, we wanted to include an actual fly in the design itself. That, and a curious or a playful cat would make it apparent what the product is at first glance. As for the overall design, here we had some direction from our client:

I want to use the logo you design for our site, on a biz card, and a gift card.I want the logo to be young, hip, fun, modern. I like simple designs. Colors to match the site, and something that could be used on both a black background or white one if colors were inverted.

Based on a few examples we had our client provide, we determined that our client wanted to see a mix of wordmark designs and a few traditional iconic logos (ie the icon and text are separate), so that’s exactly what we delivered:

The dotted line in concepts #1, 2, 4 and 5 represents the fly’s movement, as it evades the cat’s paws, showing visually that the toy has a mind of its own thus communicating the “live” aspect of the product.

Concept #2 is a wordmark with a focus entirely on the fly, but while it clearly communicates the product, it doesn’t have that interactivity that we feel is important. It is presented here, because concept 2 modelled the overall style of a wordmark design that our client really liked.

Unlike the others, Concept #3 doesn’t show the path, but rather has a fly tethered to a stock. Taking on a shape of a recognizable cat toy, this logo focuses more on the playing aspect (ie toys).

Among these designs was concept #5, which after a few revisions became the winning design.

Once we narrowed down the fonts and colors our client requested to see some alterations made, bringing attention to the word “Live” to really emphasize that these “toys” were actual live house flies. Here are some of those revisions:

Having reviewed them we agreed that those elements were unnecessarily distracting. Instead of coming together into one whole, they were dividing the focus between the fly that was just about to escape and the word “Live” in the company name. The winning design therefore is the one that has simpler text to better balance the logo mark, while still giving prominence to “Live” with its larger size.

It was a simple matter after that to carry the fonts and colors over to the custom stationery. We proposed 3 business card concepts, concluding the project with the winning design presented in the middle below (personal information has been blurred out):