'Level Level Unchained' A brand new identity for our company.

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'Level Level Unchained' A brand new identity for our company.

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But first: read our most recent article about our new website! 🙂

For the past 4 months we’ve been working behind the scenes on our new identity and website, codename: ‘Level Level Unchained’.

What does that mean? The name Level Level dates back from 2008. Since then our logo certainly evolved, but essentially it remained the same as the logo we started with 9 years ago. Each time we made an adjustment it had something to do with the visibility and readability. We tried to make improvements without deviating to much from the existing format. This always resulted in a better logo but our enthusiasm about it never reached the point where we wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Those days are over now. We decided to rigorously change course and unchain ourselves.

Betina: "What’cha do for your master?"
Django: "Didn’t you hear him tell ya, I ain’t no slave?"
Betina: "So, you really free?"
Django: "Yeah, I is free."
Betina: "So, you wanna dress like that?"

Dialog from Django Unchained, 2012

That’s also how we feel. I mean; it’s not like we totally unhinged like Django, but from this moment on we’ll wear whatever we want. And this is not only expressed in our new logo. ‘Level Level Unchained’ symbolises a major step forward for Level Level.

The showdown

Why should you keep limiting yourself by a set of rules you determined a long time ago? You could say: If it feels like a limitation it’s already a sign that the rules don’t fit you anymore. This is exactly the way we felt about our logo for already quite a while. So, time to confront ourselves: Who are we? What are we doing? And where do we want to go? We ask these kind of questions to our clients all the time, and the complexity of the answers given always surprises us. To be honest we also found out that giving a compact answer to these kind of questions is not so easy.

Nothing human is alien to us. In our efforts to paint the full picture we too tend to make the message more complex than necessary. But we also realise that, for the sake of clarity it’s more important to make a statement. So for the record:

Level Level is a Full Service WordPress Agency

That’s it. Yes, we’re also designers and yes, apart from development our work also includes concept, strategy, support and hosting but the common denominator is and has always been WordPress. We used to call WordPress our weapon of choice which is true, but this sounds like we could just as well trade it in for another weapon at any given moment, and that’s not the case. We believe in tailor-made solutions, specifically designed and in line with the customers objectives. WordPress has been the backbone in all this. It played a defining role in our success and this will also be the case in the steps we want to take. This is why our new tagline says: Full Service WordPress Agency.

International ambition

Within The Netherlands we can by now safely say that we’re an authority in the field of WordPress. There’s no other Dutch agency with so much in-house WordPress knowledge. We want to continue this position on an international Level. So, a bigger pond, but our primary target audience remains the same. On an international Level we will also focus on the large business- and enterprise market.

But how?

In order to make yourself understood in front of a bigger crowd you can do two things:

  1. Shout
  2. Talk clearer

We choose the latter. All arrangements we made within the rebranding process are focussed on a clear, more direct way of communicating. In this article you already get a general idea of what this means for our tone-of-voice. We know what we’re good at and we won’t give you any false modesty for that matter. Also, we strife to be as honest and direct as possible, towards client and towards each other. Gentle healers make stinking wounds. Finally, we’re not a big fan of formalities. That’s not to say that we’re impolite, but if at all possible we like to call you by your first name and be as straightforward with you as possible. You know your business. We know online. Let’s not be coy with one another.

Bright and bold

That’s the rule of thumb for all our textual and visual communication. We present ourselves and our work in clear imagery and compact blocks of text. The two belong together and are equally important. The things we can already show you, we don’t need to explain. With this we challenge ourselves to cut to the chase within our textual- as well as our visual communication.

Less yammer more scrub ladies!

Our way of communicating and what we want to emphasise follows on seamlessly from the pragmatic approach we have in our work. We shouldn’t have to tell you how reliable, creative and flexible we are. This already shows in our work and the way we collaborate. You could call this a Rotterdam-attitude. The attention we pay to the work, the client and the mutual cooperation is visually reflected in the fact that we won’t have any custom colors in our new brand identity. Colors are always reliant on the subject. So when we talk about a certain client, we adopt this specific palette.

Lego

Letting go of our corporate colors is one of the ways in which we chose to unchain ourselves. Another example is the fact that we don’t want to be bound to a fixed layout on our website. So, we found a solution for that too. WOW, no fixed layout and no fixed color scheme anymore: #YOLO! Some colleagues here would say… Well, not quite.

So how do you facilitate endless possibilities, and at the same time, prevent an utter mess?

The answer: Lego. With Lego you can build anything, even a brand. Our new identity and the associated website consist of numerous elements, blocks, which can be assembled in many different ways. And these blocks are designed so that they always look good regardless of the combination in which you use them.

An example? Compare this article with this article. They both look like a million bucks. Two completely different pages with a different assembly of blocks, but both totally ‘on-brand’.

The logo

The original idea for the figurative mark consists of the two capitals (L and L) tilted so they form a frame together. Together with the word mark this forms the logo which is expressed in the following ways.

Logo Level Level within the frame of L shape figures en out of this frame

Although we didn’t arrive to these conclusions without a fight, we don’t think it’s necessary to elaborate about its emergence and deeper meaning. In our view the symbolism speaks for itself:

  • Focus
  • Zoom in
  • Framing, context
  • Frame (an open structure that gives shape and support)
  • Viewport/ device

We recognise ourselves in each of these meanings as they symbolise different aspects of our work. However, what you see is more important. This logo is the absolute opposite of our old logo when it comes to appearance, and that’s exactly what we were going for. This logo stands out in a crowd. Gone are the days of scrawny credits in sidebars and footers. This logo is BAM! (bold as a motherf*cker 🙂

What do we see?

  • A basic shape constructed of two L’s. This is directly clear.
  • The figurative mark as well as the word mark are not build with scrawny letters, but with bold, condensed Caps.
  • The figurative mark as well as the word mark have the necessary spacing, but not more than that.

This collection of choices take care of a bold and powerful appearance and make for a logo that symbolizes ‘The next Level Level’:

Confident, direct, unchained and free.


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