06 October, 2014

norb.co

Creating a personal brand is harder than it should be.

A ton of designers run their portfolio website under their own name, think of something like johnsmith.com. Alas my name - Norbert Levajsics - is not the most domain-compatible per se. It's long, impossible to communicate, hard to memorise - everything that makes a bad brand name.

At first, I thought about going with something entirely unrelated. A few years ago I ran dotdotpixel.com, then until just recently, spom.me. But neither of those names resonated with me on the long run. They've seemed and sounded fun and clever at first, but just after a few weeks I grew tired of them. And it's definitely not normal to hate your own personal brand.

So instead of trying to escape what has been given to me, I decided to embrace it. A few months ago I got the name down: norb.co. Sounds kind of dorky, bit of nerdy, but hey, that's me. And in practice, norb.co is short, bold, easy to communicate and memorise.

The Brand

Page-Mark
Page-Spommen

Visually, I decided to use spomman as a mark for the gig. I've been using this smiley face as an icon on Twitter for years. Every few months I try to improve it a bit, playing around with the proportions of its elements, so the spomman has evolved as I've improved as a designer.

Page-Logotype

As for the logotype, I went with an abstract geometric norb signo.

Page-Swatches

I've chosen really bright greys and a vivid shade of blue as the primary colour palette, but I plan to keep the visual identity modular when it comes to colours. So it could work with practically any backdrop if the context requires it.

Page-Desktopweb
Page-Mobileweb

As for the website, I wanted to make something fundamentally elastic and low-maintenance, both when it comes to the visual appearance and code under the bonnet. Kirby CMS greatly helped me achieving this goal: unlike with most CMS-es, it's incredibly easy to create a simple yet powerful structure without any overhead fluff. I can only recommend it to anyone who've had it with bloated and monolithic CMS-es of today.

The website after launch is looking and performing decent, but there's still some aspects I want to refine (one of the most important bits being typography). and neat stuff I want to add in the future, like motion-covers. I'll try to improve the layout and functions progressively as I have the time and the content for it, so stay tuned for some amazing stuff!

Page-Wink