Creating a brand and identity for a new company is an exciting and daunting proposition. There is so much to think about, from colors and typeface to photos and illustrations. When it comes down to it you’re answering a big question: What is this company all about?
Our answer: We’re a new type of event rental company that’s focusing on hard-to-find seating, but we also offer distinctive china, linens, glassware, and more. We focus on elegant events with unique touches.
Now, what does that look like exactly?
We were lucky enough to work with the design firm Armchair Studio. They took our ideas and musings and designed a logo and look that imparts what our company is all about.
Contained in the ‘B’ of our logo you’ll see our company’s acronym: PBS. We love that our logo has an additional layer upon closer inspection. But don’t feel bad if you didn’t see it before, we overlooked it at first ourselves.
We interviewed Elliott McCreadie, Armchair Studio’s designer, about the creative process behind the logo and look of Please B Seated.
PBS: Tell us the story behind the creation of the logo? At first we here at PBS overlooked what ultimately became our logo, how did you get us to see the light?
Elliott: The process of creating the logo was definitely a team effort. The earliest version of the ‘B’ was a little hard to decipher amongst the in-house team, and I did have to point it out at first. With Mark’s [Ramel, partner and creative director of Armchair Studio] collaboration, we were able to develop it to a point where the individual letters come together as a whole in a more obvious way, but it does rely on a bit of discovery.
PBS: How important do you think it is that customers see all the letters at first or at all?
Elliott: I don’t think it is important to see the individual letters right away; discovery is the fun part of life. We really liked the idea of that “aha moment,” when a person viewing the logo can see the different elements that compose the ‘B,’ but if it doesn’t happen, that’s cool as the ‘B’ on its own works as well.
PBS: What do you think the hidden letters bring to the logo and the story of the company?
Elliott: If you look at the logo for an instant you’ll see the Please B Seated and that’s ideal, but if you spend a little bit longer looking at it you’ll discover there’s a little more to it. Just like the company itself. Not only do you combine rental items in a certain way to create a successful event, but you provide service and care that has a little more to it than the other companies out there.
PBS: What was your inspiration for the logo?
Elliott: My inspiration for the logo came from Please B Seated itself. As a company, the goal is to provide a plethora of rental items and combine them in a certain way to create a successful event. So I wanted to create something that expressed this successful combination. Through lots of design exploration, many terrible ideas/experiments, and a bit of luck, I took the first letter of “Please” and “Seated” and fashioned them together in a particular way to form the letter “B”. It was a coming together of individual elements in a particular way to form a unified brand identity that reflects how PBS works at bringing all your party essentials together for one grand event.
PBS: What are some of your favorite logos?
Elliott: There are so many great logos out there, but I’d have to say I like the Unilever logo. It invites the viewer to take a deeper dive into their world. A glimpse. I also really like the branding that was done for the city of Melbourne, Australia. A very strong variable mark that represents the versatility of the city in such a great playful way. The FedEx logo is also great and shows the same sort of exploration and depth that I tried to express with the PBS logo.
PBS: How long have you worked for Armchair? And where did you work/ study previously? What’s your background in design?
Elliott: I’ve been at Armchair for just over a year now. It has been a great experience; the guys have definitely taught me a lot and helped me grow as a designer. I’m originally from Wellington, New Zealand, where I studied at Victoria University. I worked in Wellington for a while before moving here to New York about five years ago to continue my career. Before Armchair I was working for a boutique “fundraising design studio”. I was basically the entire design department and took care of the fundraising design needs for our nonprofit clients.