A lot of businesses and government agencies need a branding overhaul these days. The City of Portland, Oregon’s Bureau of Development Services is no exception. While getting to know the ‘Bureau’ and their employment opportunities, I created an updated version of the BDS mark. The design needed to encompass aspects of BDS’s responsibilities for the City of Portland, like residential and commercial permits as well as city services like water and arbor management. The pervious logo design was strong, in an 90’s clipart kind of way, but really lacked some design principles that create a strong and flexible design.
From the beginning, I felt like the original design didn’t respect or incorporate the city seal well enough. I chose to size the new mark within the inner bounds of the seal to create hierarchy through scale. The line work, while overtly simple helps convey concepts like a house, an office building, a tree and a water fountain. The simplicity of the illustration has a Scandinavian or Norwegian feel, I believe, that helps to bring a friendliness to the design and the branding message. The font choice is Barlow Semi Condensed which should work well in an architectural environment with it’s many weights and italic options.
Additional Black & White and Reverse versions were also submitted, which is standard practice when designing any mark.
Feedback is greatly appreciated. If you have a similar rebranding challenge or need some advice, please connect with me. Refreshing a businesses’ brand is a lot of work but I enjoy talking candidly about how to make a mark succeed and survive the test of time.