Trabug Branding

We are extremely happy with the way Trabug’s logo shaped up. The word “TRABUG” is a combination of 2 words “Travel” + “Bug”. We were lucky to get a dot com domain for Trabug. To be honest, sometimes, the availability of a certain dot com domain may influence branding decisions. Even though we had other names shortlisted and we liked them more than “Trabug”, having a brand with a dot com URL, would be beneficial for us in the long run. We didn’t want the brand name to be very long and also to be difficult to pronounce. Since we were targeting mostly English speaking foreigners, we felt this name would be most suitable. This had about 0.1% chance of being mispronounced or misspelled. A good and easy recall is very important for the brand.

Anyways, when we shared the name with the team, everyone was very happy. To our surprise, one of our designers did not think of it as a BUG (insect), but for her BUG was equivalent to a DEVICE. We had never thought of it. For one of my UI developers, BUG meant an ERROR. Again, something we had not thought of. But for him it also meant that we were fixing “Errors in Smooth Travel”. So, eventually it all made sense and we decided to go ahead with the design of it.

I shall share some early sketches of the logo with you in a bit. We were sure about a few things from the very beginning:

  1. We definitely wanted to use the location pin as the base of the logo.
  2. We wanted to use tentacles to make it look like a bug
  3. We wanted have max 2 colors in the logo, but we did experiment with a 3rd color as well
  4. We wanted to use colors which would be vibrant and stand out.
  5. I personally love the yellow and black combination. When we were thinking about the logo, we wanted to have something which would look great in outdoor branding. We got the yellow and black from standard signage colors. You can notice signages from a distance.
  6. We also wanted the text to be Sans Serif, to keep it fun and informal.

This is what we eventually came up with:

Final Branding

Let me share with you what each element symbolises and why did we choose this over others.

  1. The head of the Bug. In our design exploration this actually came at the end. The logo was looking good but not complete without the head. You shall notice this when you see older versions.
  2. The tentacles make the Location Pin look like a bug. I specially like these tentacles because they also remind me of the famous 3D animation character Shrek. Look closely, bug’s tentacles look like Shrek’s ears. We modified to suit our logo.
  3. The shape of the “Bug” was debated for quite sometime. But being a boss has some advantages ;). I personally liked this shape of location pin as opposed to some we sketched in our earlier explorations. This particular shape gave a cool and elegant feel to the logo. The “Location Pin” represents, the location of sites, things to do etc., the heart of our concept, quite evidently.
  4. The dots represent the diverse set of information and services we have.
  5. The font for the logo was quite a struggle, we wanted to have a different Sans Serif font that did not look too casual. Found this one after days of searching.

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Here are some early explorations of the logo and then what we eventually put together.

1. First few sketches

How to do sketching of Branding? Phases of Branding

We like the colors and the tentacles but not the shape. Anyways, we decided till we find a better shape, we would go with this. Just to be sure about the color we did a color exploration.

2. Color exploration

Color exploration for Branding

The Team preferred Black tentacles to Yellow. With these explorations we managed to add a green and a pink to our final color set. It gave a variety and a zing to our color pallette. We thought it could be useful when we design the platform or other collaterals.

3. Some more color and font explorations

Font exploration for Branding Font practice for Branding

We finally got the shape of the location pin right. This is what I was looking for. As you can notice, the head was still missing at this point. We were getting closer to the symbol but farther from the font.

We liked this color set, as discussed earlier, we managed to retain the color set but not the look. We realised the logo was too busy. Too many elements at play. Although we were trying some quirks with the text, it did not quite workout.

Font phases of Branding

Tried many such font combinations, but nothing was accepted.

4. Simplify

Finally in the simplification exercise, we started removing the unnecessary elements. We removed everything that didn’t add value to our concept. No extra font weights, no quirks. After much deliberation and continuous sketching, we got what we wanted. Kudos to the team! Shraddha and Abhijit.
Simple, cool, elegant, fun, friendly and informal. This is what Trabug means to us.

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Some key takeaways for startups!

  1. Try getting a dot com domain for your startup, i know it is tough but do try as much as you can
  2. Try to keep the brand name and spellings simple & short
  3. Minimise the colors in your logo
  4. You should know, what you want the logo to Symbolise
  5. Some aspects of your own personality must be incorporated in the logo.
  6. Get a color pallette, a font kit and collaterals done in one go. Apply your logo on various marketing collateral and see how it evolves. You would notice that the logo will go through a lot of changes to comply with all the collaterals.

If you need more help, feel free to mail me. Would be happy to help you think about your logo. Although I am not the best at it, but I know how to run a business, so know what works.

Co-founder Trabug

You might also want to read these:

  1. Jodhpur: The Blue City
  2. Roam like a Native using Trabug
  3. 20 Reasons why you should get Trabug