A while back, I shared some of the colorful history of Mirantis swag. Ever since our early days as OpenStack pioneers, our brand has been important to us. It’s helped us stand out among a noisy OpenStack ecosystem and get noticed among much larger organizations. Our booths at OpenStack Summits are always engaging points of interest: a bar, picture search, driving simulator, and robotic hockey table. And our employee swag is over-the-top: jean jackets; track suits; and in Vancouver, hockey jerseys that the OpenStack community still talks about today.
Our brand is also a source of pride, a reflection of our collective spirit, and a testament to our commitment to our ideals. We believe in Pure Play Open Cloud, and many of our earliest t-shirt designs reflected this value, using analogies to Ikea and Breaking Bad. We have celebrated the open source communities in which we participate, with our Zelda-inspired App Catalog shirt, Japan’s Megarantis (“defender of pure openstack!”) and Austin’s OpenStack release beer labels. We’ve even embraced our global company culture by lovingly poking fun at Russian stereotypes.
As our company has evolved, so has our brand. This year, we renewed our focus on managed services, and embraced Kubernetes to help us deliver those services continuously. As we make this shift, our branding team is responding. And this time, we felt the time was right for our company evolution to extend to our logo.
Our logo evolution
Any time a company decides to change its logo or name, it’s a decision that can’t be taken lightly or entered into hastily. Our old logo and color palette served us well for quite a while, and many people may not know that it has already undergone some revisions over time:
The Mirantis logo is more than a decade old, and its original designer and meaning have become company folklore. Personally, it reminds me of the variable x — i.e., when working with customers, Mirantis “solves for x” and builds a cloud that meets their unique needs. Others think that the black swoosh looks like two “helping hands”. Some believe the arrow represents the upward trajectory of our customers’ business results.
Regardless of interpretation, the logo mark presented several design challenges. The arrow is really skinny. The white cutouts in the black swoosh are noisy, particularly when the logo is a smaller size. The swooshes are different widths, increasing the horizontal bias of the mark. The swooshes don’t align with the edges of the “Mirantis” word mark below. Lastly, the typeface of the word mark includes an “M” that has angled legs, contributing to the uneven or irregular shape of the combined logo and word marks.
When we started work on our new logo, all options were on the table. We considered a complete overhaul, and fully developed a few radically different alternatives. Ultimately, we decided that despite its flaws, our logo has a distinctive, recognizable shape that has considerable cachet in our market. So, we went with an evolutionary approach:
The new logo streamlines our previous logo’s appearance, improves its suitability for printed materials, and imbues it with a more contemporary visual appearance. We also updated the typeface used for “Mirantis” to increase its readability, improve its interplay with the logo mark, and to make it more compatible with the fonts included in our brand’s current visual identity. Our color palette is refreshed with a more intense primary red, a new “icy teal” complementary color, and a deep, warm plum for dark color fills and backgrounds. (You’ll notice that these colors have become staples on our website, as well.)
If you need any of our visual assets or color values, you can find them on our logo page.
We at Mirantis like to have fun with our brand while promoting our values: pure play, openness, and community; and we’re definitely not going to stop having fun while delivering those messages. In the coming months, we’ll extend our branding to our booth at OpenStack Summit Boston in May, and for several other open source events. We hope you’ll come say hi and check out our latest swag.